Challenges: Even timing is no accident

An unexpected visitor came by my office this morning having no idea what was brewing inside me as I drove in to work this morning. As I listened, my visitor mentioned an encouraging scripture he had recently shared with someone else and I felt the comfort from that same scripture as it applies also to my own struggles.

Facing some uncertainties coming up next month, 2 on the very same day, I had bowed under the weight of it all last night before bed asking The Lord to help me and to keep my thoughts rooted in truth instead of being tossed about by doubts, fears, and even concerns over what others think of me. I shake my head in dismay that that same old issue still surfaces once in a while, the old nagging, “what do they think or say…” I literally named my insecurity in prayer and asked only, “Lord, what You intend, may that be, even in what others think of me.” Comfort is found in truth and nowhere else.

We suffer through trials so that we may learn compassion, gain wisdom, be humble, and grow. All of this so that we may minister to others in their times of need.

Driving in to work I had been thinking of the scripture that speaks of believers and followers of Christ growing up into Christ, being transformed into His image, His likeness, together. We are to help each other along. But we can’t teach what we haven’t learned, thus the hard lessons and the many challenges are for maturing, refining, reconciling.

Aging parents, sickness, parenting a child and an adult child, grand-parenting, friending, teaching, wifing…the commitments and responsibilities seem endless, yet the journey meaningful.

We are taught in counseling classes that we cannot lead others beyond where we have grown.

Maybe all the unexpected challenges are what fosters the deepest growth in faith. Maybe being the ones with histories riddled with mountainous obstacles makes us the ones most able to come alongside in times your eyes find it hard to meet another’s over shame and regret, confusion and hurt too deep to name. Maybe…

For those little ones looking on with apprehension not knowing how to face uncertain days, I’ve learned we have to smile and hug and encourage with the truth of identity determined by a loving Father, not an earthly man. We have to show them the strength faith gives to walk with courage and grace no matter what. No. Matter. What…

These days are numbered along with the hairs on our heads. I must remember that in the coming days, for those I love and for myself. I must lean strongly on the promise of Romans 8:28, “all things work together for good for those who love The Lord and are called according to His purpose.” I used to ask, “how do I know that applies to me?” I know by that deepest of all desires that is ever present in me, to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God; this for myself and for those I hold most dear. May it be so in all circumstances and all will be well where it matters most, in our souls.

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