When I began my new life in Christ over 30 years ago, I have to admit, I thought it would be different. I’m not sure what I expected—well, that’s not exactly true—I expected my life to smooth itself out. I expected problems to be minimal, if at all. And I expected that--after the totally dysfunctional life in which I’d grown up--I should have a really good life. I thought I “deserved” it.
Boy, was I wearing “rose-colored” glasses, or what?
Life has pushed, pulled, tossed, ripped and beat me to pieces. People I love have broken my heart and devastated my life. Friends have laughed with me one moment and turned their backs to me the next. I have found my life wanting in many ways, not the least of which would be the need for just one moment of peace. And lately, I’ve felt truly kicked in the tail by life in general.
Wonderful experiences have also been a part of my life. I’ve known true, committed love from my husband of 30 years. The births of my two children have only been topped by the births of my three grandchildren. Young people with whom I’ve worked for great lengths of time have finally stopped fighting and given their lives into the hands of the Savior. God has allowed me to be a speaker who encourages women through the “challenges” of life. I have been privileged to teach the Word of God in classroom settings.
What really bugs me is that tendency I have to let the struggles outweigh the cool things God does for me. It’s just so easy to fall into that “woe is me” trap. Some days, my greatest challenge is to remember to thank God in all circumstances.
My firm belief is that every experience has a reason, the greatest of which is to learn what God is teaching through the situation and then take it to the world. I really do believe that God is good all the time. I really do believe that He works all things for my good. I know that He loves me. And while I would never have chosen to have the “challenges” I have experienced in my life, yet even through the dark clouds and the gray days I am learning to thank God for what good will come from every circumstance.
James 1:2-5 "Consider it all joy, my brethren,when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." (NASB)
Nope, this is not the life I asked for. Too many days of too much to deal with. But if I can help just one more person, if just one more person can come to understand God’s love even in their time of pain because of the testimony He has given me to share, then my life is just right. It’s all for Him, after all.
Romans 8:28-29 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (NASB)
(c)July 26, 2005
revised October 2006