You know those times when you sit there in a church service and hear the words and listen to the message, and it is applicable to your life and you walk away from that time convicted, challenged or encouraged to face the week ahead? Today's message at church was not like that.
Instead, it was as though the entire morning had been carefully
orchestrated specifically for us. The second we sat down, we knew...this
is what we need to hear. The lyrics during worship were exactly what
was in my heart and what I needed to cry out to Him; that life may be
challenging and disappointing and unfair - but He is good and holy and
worthy. Our circumstances don't change who He is, instead, He changes
our perspective in our circumstances.
I knew as we were
getting ready this morning that discouragement and sorrow were
beginning to well in my heart again. I also knew that I was determined
to worship Him, even if I don't understand, even if I am brokenhearted,
even if I feel doubt and confusion - I will still follow Him. I will
continue to practice trusting Him. I will be thankful.
the pastor spoke, it was as though a good friend, who understood all we
were feeling and everything we were facing, sat down beside us and
reminded us of the truth of His Word, walking us through each verse we
needed to hear. Our confidence is in a God who loves us, who sees and
understands what we cannot and who is more than able to meet all our
needs according to His good purpose.
It is easy to say
all that in one breath, and grieve our circumstances with the next. The
real test is in walking through the difficult circumstances we find
ourselves in from time to time [or, perhaps, painfully often] and
choosing, each moment, to praise Him - to trust Him.
is so helpful for me to look at our relationship to our children. We
have one in particular who is irrationally dramatic sometimes and before
this child even has an opportunity to process information or a
situation, this child's reaction becomes instant fear, discouragement,
hopelessness. Words like "never" and "always" erupt in bursts of
un-checked dramatic exclamations. Often when we want to give this child
something good, before we even have an opportunity to explain, this
melodramatic display surfaces and the entire plan is dampened by the
Maybe we react this way a little with God.
of just waiting patiently for Him to explain the whole plan, we jump to
conclusions, assuming that because things are not going the way we
thought they would, everything is ruined. [Insert hand on forehead and
fake swooning...] Or rather than trusting that even if there is no
foreseeable plan or answer or conclusion in our favor, that He loves us,
wants what is best for us and is not only willing, but able to protect
us and help us. That doesn't mean nothing bad ever happens, it just
means that He knows, cares about those hurts and has a purpose in
allowing them in our lives - even if we never are able to fully
understand the "whys".
We teach our children that they
need to learn to trust us - even when they don't understand. I imagine
our heavenly Father, the God who made the world and everything in it -
who formed us with design and purpose and knows the intricacies of both
our bodies and our spirits, expects that same respect from us.
kind of what it boils down to. Respect. If I believe that He is God and
that His Word is true, why would I question or fear or become
discouraged? We know that in all things God works for the good of those
who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. If God is
for us, who can be against us?
This is a verse that was
brought to mind this afternoon: So do not fear, for I am with you. Do
not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I
will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
need to love Him. That's it. If I love Him, I will listen to Him, I will
walk in obedience and do what is right. If I know Him, I will know that
He is to be trusted. He clothes flowers and feeds sparrows. He loves
us. I won't waste time wondering and worrying and wishing. But instead, I
will invest myself in worship. I will commit my heart to trusting His
character and wisdom, rather than my own. I will find contentment in His
company, rather than seek satisfaction in something innate or
unattainable. My confidence cannot lie in what we see alone, because our
eyes can trick us to believe we see something different from what
really is. My perspective is so very narrow, there is a whole world of
insight and understanding that I could not possibly gain in a lifetime. I
am like my child in my understanding compared to the Lord, [if even
that wise]. He knows better and if I am wise, I will continue to let my
confidence rest in Him.
I'm so encouraged to know that
He works things together for our good and for His purposes - even
preparing today's message for us. He is kind.