Friday, May 15, 2009

Lessons From the Past

A dear friend is walking a path similar to one I walked myself 10 years ago. So I was reading through some of the emails that I wrote during that time in order to remember where I was at and hopefully find something to encourage her. I came across this insight:

I guess the point of it all is, you put everything in God's hands: your
healthy child, your unhealthy child, your future, etc. Nothing is too big
for Him. You know the people in Hebrews where they talk about the great
faith that they had. A lot of them didn't have faith for just a few
months, it was the long, really long haul. Also, God didn't spare Daniel
from the lions den, but he did spare him from being eaten alive. Or
Shadrak, Meshak, and Abendigo (don't do a spell check). They weren't
spared from the fire, but the fire didn't burn them and when people looked at
them they saw Jesus too. Wow!!

Sometimes our trials are smaller and tedious, like things that come up in relationships, marriage and parenting. Sometimes they're big, life changing trials like job loss or financial ruin. And sometimes trials are huge like dealing with death. The common thread is that all trials change us and require trusting the process or, even more, the Processor, God.

I watched the kids working with clay this past week and thought about how we are clay and the way God works us into his ultimate design masterpiece. Sometimes the instrument for change is gentle pressure and cool water sometimes it's a sharp knife. Trusting our Creator and Savior seems like such an obvious choice for a long time Christian but following through with trust... faith... that's tough. The fact that I have examples of faith before me makes it doable. Jesus hung on the cross and suffered immeasuably, he bore the sins of humanity, and paid our debt. Now that's a trial! But then he rose from the dead, just as he said he would, and now he's at the right hand of God preparing a place for me! The Bible and the Church are filled with testimonies of God's goodness and the critical importance of having a long term, eternal perspective. May we trust God in the short term, immediate trials, however big or small, and may other people see God as we stand in those trials and wait on the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness
of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be
strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.


SLMW8MAN said...


Anonymous said...

Great reminder and encouragement. Thank you.

Lord, lift me above my own narrow horizons, that I might fulfill your true vision for me. - B.J. Hoff