I’m learning a lot these days, mostly through the difficulties of a somewhat challenging time. I realize these are opportunities for growth, so I am trying to just hold on to Jesus and know that He is faithful. I’ve come to the realization that this “learning phase” is much better than the “fighting phase.” The fighting phase (me fighting God, wallowing in self-pity and feeling hopeless) included questions such as, “Have You given up on me, God? Set me on the shelf?” “I have no idea where You are in all of this, Lord.” “Why must I go through this?” And this one especially: “Why did You not stop me from [insert your fill-in-the-blank here]?”
This “learning phase” is helping me answer those questions–most for the umpteenth time. God reminds, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:4); and “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) This phase has helped me come to the realization once again that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) I hear in my spirit once again, “You are that person, you love God, and you have been called by Him.”
The “why” questions are a bit tougher to explain, but I know that I know that God has His reasons for my going through these things, and honestly, if He stopped me, I would not have the gift of free-will that enables me to live life as a human being instead of a puppet. In addition, I highly doubt that I would have the relationship that I enjoy today with my dear Father in heaven.
The new verse I’m trying to memorize is Galatians 1:10. “Am I now trying to with the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” One thing that God is trying to help me overcome is my desire, many times above all else, to “keep the peace” and please everyone around me. And since I am now in my late 50’s, I suspect it’s a little harder because I have had years and years of practice. It’s a tough thing to change, believe me, but I’m trying with God’s help. I AM A SERVANT OF CHRIST, and it’s Jesus that I serve above all else.
One more thing: I’ve discovered that in learning new ways to live my life, God has given me several (actually more than several) chances this week to share with others who are struggling with their own things. These opportunities have greatly encouraged me, and for that, too, I am grateful.
Praying for you, my friends!