In case you're wondering - I'm ok. Relatively speaking. God is doing stuff in me and I've faced some trials recently that I would have rather run away from than faced... But I've faced them.. and mostly got through relatively unharmed...
On another of the blogs I read daily (the Daniel Fam) I was struck by something her husband told her... this is totally a paraphrase... but when she was stressing about the future and about planning for tomorrow and trying to figure stuff out, he reminded her that the situation they are in (preemie in NICU in D.C.) is not a punishment from God for something they did "wrong".
How often do I feel like GOd is punishing me for bad choices like I would punish my son and that his punishment is x,y, and z hard trial. So then, I was just reminded of the following verse... one of my ALL TIME FAV's...
James 1 vs 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
"Consider it PURE JOY when you face trials". Not just Joy. Pure joy. I think about that like the kind of joy that a small child has when they play with their favorite toy or get their favorite food or see their mommies after being away from them for a week, a day, an hour! He wants us to act like a child w their favorite things when we are in the middle of tough stuff. I haven't felt like a child lately... But I believe His way is best and I believe that He can be trusted (well I dont TOTALLY believe I can trust Him right now... honestly... but I"m trying to.)
He continues saying that the testing of our Faith (in Him, in things we can't see, etc) will lead to perseverance and maturity. He wants us to be MATURE and COMPLETE... lacking NOTHING. Sometimes I wish he'd just let me be incomplete bc maybe it wouldn't be so hard or hurt so bad... but I have to believe His ways are best. And to even be thankful that he cares enough to finish what he started in me... he doesn't want to give up. He doesn't want to have a 1/2 completed masterpiece.
I think about my recent fliers and publications I've done at work... and how I want to complete them... make them into EXACTLY what I had envisioned... even if it takes me 1/2 the morning after I think its "done" to make it "COMPLETE"... resize a font here, add a graphic there, change some colors, etc. Then Finally... finally... its complete. It lacks nothing. I'm satisfied and even proud of the work I finished.. but it doesn't happen instantly. It takes time... and then just when you get it close to what it should look like... there's even more "tweaking".
Why don't I trust him to finish "tweaking" me?
That passage continues with : 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
So if I doubt Him.... if I doubt His word is truth.... if I doubt He wants the best for me... if I doubt His plans... I"m "double minded" and shouldnt' expect to receive ANYTHING from the Lord.
So maybe I'll get to work on this trust thing. Maybe I'll give up my "right to understand" as Lori said below (in Trust #3) and then maybe I'll believe its worth it. Maybe I'll believe I'm not being punished... and that he's holding me when I'm sad and hasn't abandoned me ever... even for a moment... Maybe. It seems so hard right now.
Then I keep reading in James...
12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Maybe its worth it... I mean... I'm pretty sure it is. The Crown of Life seems pretty cool.... I want to look back and say I stood the test... I guess only time will tell!