From time to time, there is a foolish notion that I wrestle with in my mind. It’s a combination of living with first world problems and the entitlement that is so pervasive in our culture. Having been a Christian for many years, I would contest that I understand and recognize pride, foolish thinking, and entitlement, yet, from time to time, I am back in a place of wrestling with this crazy notion. What notion am I referring to?
The idea that trials, afflictions, and testings of our faith have limits. You see, when I reflect back on my life, I’ve had a much harder time than most, and I’ve spent years on my knees watching God deliver me from all sorts of troubles. In the last year, I was freed from a very abusive situation, and somewhere in my thinking I had the crazy notion that my life from this point on would be trial free or a great deal easier.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew that life was life and that hard things would come, but I thought I was over the proverbial mountain in Habakkuk 3:19 and that it was downhill from here!
The truth is, no matter what I have faced in life, no matter how much faith and prayer were present in former trials, the Lord is the keeper of my timeline. He is the instructor writing the curriculum, the school bell which determines the timing, and the guide helping me along the way.
We live in a world that says we deserve more and better, and if we follow a certain paradigm we will achieve success and the good life. But we are Christians.
That means this world is not our home, it’s not our final destination, nor does it hold formulas for our lives. If my desire is to glorify God by enjoying him forever, my friend, the enjoyment is often most felt when I am at my most need. It is while on my knees, at the kitchen sink, and driving in the car that I am in constant communion asking for help, guidance, and grace.
When life gets hard, and it seems harder than it’s ever been, I go back to my journals and read. I remember those stories of providence, comfort, and learning. I take heart in knowing that God knew the outcome even when the present seemed like there was no hope.
Another year is upon us, and I hope you will join me in asking God not for a year of ease, but for a year in which we draw closer to Him, know Him better, and impact the lives of our family, friends, and community for His glory and our good.