Do you ever consider the seasons of life, especially the most trying of times in retrospect and find that it was in those particular times that The Lord most drew you to Himself; revealed to you what matters most; showered you with His love; unveiled His great power and love; made you see that in weakness His strength surely is made perfect? He continues to do that for me and I stand amazed… amazed at His grace, His presence, His timing, His provision, and His all-consuming love for His own!
Reading Paul’s writings always brings to light my own inadequacies but also highlights the precious covering of God’s rich grace that is available to us. Paul’s life challenges me to let go of my desire for comfort and ease in this life and to fully surrender to the will of God that may require suffering but will also yield the greatest blessings of eternal value.
What is this life but a vapor for those of us with eternal perspective? Oftentimes my struggles lead me into a clearer and more appropriate perspective and for that I am always grateful. Still, though, I am often astounded at how deep my hurt has been once my perspective is changed and I can see God’s grace as I look back and how He had a hand in the matter and it was indeed for good although in the midst of the struggle all I could see was pain.
My daughter and I were having a conversation recently and she asked “does it not make you sad that I’m no longer home on Christmas morning?” To which the answer would have been a very loud and sorrowful YES only a short while in the past but now the answer is “well, no because now I know that when you do come home on Christmas you will be bringing Riley (my grandson) with you!”
The past, with all of the hurts and grief, anguish, yearnings, longings and regrets, has a miraculous way of healing in time as The Lord works out before our eyes more details of His plans not to harm us but to give us hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
A while back I was studying “faith” in my Bible and I found over and over again how those who even walked with The Lord while He was here on earth in fleshly form had little faith, and I began to pray “Lord, I want to be a woman of great faith, please Lord give me great faith!” I realize that for this to come to pass I may walk through many valleys and encounter many more experiences, like so many of my past, where I simply don’t understand, but if it leads me to that place of great faith I am willing to walk that path.
Only when we begin to see The Lord and His purposes, Him as the Great Creator, Sovereign over all things, can we begin to get a clearer perspective of who we are and what our lives are designed to be about. We are made, created to give Him Glory. Oh, how I want to give Him Glory! That is my ultimate purpose. I desire that above all else because I love Him. I have grown to love Him. It pains my heart to remember days when I approached The Lord so much more for my own needs than for consideration of Him as Sovereign Lord. Honesty…a close look at me reveals my severe lacking and yet seeing His gracious love as my covering from the moment my life began brings me to Him in surrender.
The Psalmist declared so beautifully what I have joyfully come to know when he wrote “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” (Psalm 24:8) Sin is not good, it is deceitful and it comes with a great cost, but the Lord, He is good and He beckons us daily to come to Him and taste and see that indeed He alone is good. May we all draw nearer to Him and seek to walk in His ways, embrace all that He has for us and He will carry us into that great faith where we can shine as lights in a dark world and bring glory to Him!