…we don't always get to the point where we can say this with sincerity in our hearts…
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Our heavenly Father teaches, molds, guides, gives wisdom, and breaks down our stubborn human nature, often by allowing us to go through troubles. And as we lay defeated and broken clinging to the only stability in our lives... our Savior,
“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2
He draws us closer to Him than we have ever known.
Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3
He brings comfort in ways we can never explain. Provides us with strength in humility a tranquil steadfast strength. Not adrenaline strength of emotion. A strength that can only be supplied by Him.
16 “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,” Ephesians 3:!6 (NIV)
And He showers His love on us when we feel most unlovable. A love that can only try to imagine, so unfathomable that we will never be able to understand its magnitude.
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV)
Now during these trials He might not feel close. He might feel far far away and almost as though He doesn't really care about the pain, the suffering, the loss, the grief.
“In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.” Isaiah 54:8(NIV)
But in faith we know that no matter what battles are waging around us, what mountains are stretched in front of us, or what insignificance we feel, HE is there, as a father to His child He never leaves us but allows us the tribulation for a short time, or a lifetime, to bring us closer to Him. At the perfect time, in His perfect plan, according to His perfect will, He steps in and is what we need, reinforcing time and time again in our lives that He is all sovereign, the creator, king, comforter, everlasting Father, peacemaker, author and finished of our faith, bread of life, living water, the alpha and omega.
“And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35 (NKJV)
There is no promise that a trial will ever end, a scar will ever heal, or a victory will ever be won in human eyes, but He has promised to be there through it all, all we need do is rely solely on Him.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
We may never understand… nor do we need to.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”Isaiah 55:8-9(NIV)
But on His word we will stand.
Last month marked for me 10 years of being privileged to serve in this incomparable nation with this organization. Knowing that this anniversary date, was coming I was a bit embarrassed mentally scanning down the list of things I have failed to become, things I failed to accomplished, things I have not yet overcome, responsibilities I should have long ago mastered. But time did not permit too much wallowing as this year brought with it new trials, insurmountable barriers, and seemingly impossible battles that kept us all fully engaged. That's the life we as His followers have chosen. Each of us that chose Him. We said no to the list of this worlds expectations and goals for our futures. No to its acceptance of wrong. No to its indifference to others. We said no to the way the current flows and surrendered ourselves to be used by Him. which means a life of standing for Him, a life of following His will, a life with the goal to bring Him glory. And my prayer is that despite the fact that my list of accomplishments has very few check marks to be graded, hopefully through the years as He has blessed me with the trials of pain, heart ache, loss, that I may have stood in such a way that my life has shown His love and brought glory to Him.
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10
To those who showered me with notes, letters, and cards; beautifully bound together as a book by caring hands, I THANK YOU!!! It touched me greatly and you will never know how timely your encouraging words and love came!! I shall cherish that book till trifocals and beyond! And to all those who helped to purchase the camera of my dreams, THANK YOU! I joke that the only possession I could not live without is my photo storage hard drive... So many memories and emotions are stored in those hundreds of thousands of photos I have taken since coming to GLA, remembering with the snapshots of each little face a life that touched my for a time before being lead on their own journey. Becoming better at capturing those moments and memories is something I have longed to do but never thought Id have the chance at. Thank you for making that a possibility!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” Hebrews 12:1 NIV
Posted on Fri, July 27, 2012