Okay, so we don't have our shipping stuff yet...it is supposed to arrive this Thursday...and it is pretty much killing me! My entire crate of book writing stuff is in there, so I haven't been able to work on it lately! My hands are itching to do some writing!
I have been thinking about my mom lately...more than usual it seems. When she was in college she did a semester of student teaching in London. I think that might be one of the reasons that my thoughts have been pulling in her direction of late.
Last night as I was trying to fall asleep, I kept thinking about how things would be if she were here. How certain things wouldn't be problems if she were here. How I wouldn't have so many responsibilities if she were here. How my sister would smile more if she were here. As I lay there thinking about all these things a tear ran down my cheek and I sniffled. Apparently my sister wasn't asleep yet, because she promptly asked me what the matter was. I swallowed and told her that sometimes I just feel like dying and that "...things would be so much better if mom was here." Shauna turned over and thought for a minute before replying "Yes, but God wanted mom to go. She wouldn't have gone if God would have had it another way." To some people, these words may not be comforting, but for me...they were exactly the ones that I needed to hear. For some reason, God has me walking this path that I am on. I may not understand it, and I may not know why, but God does. He is fulfilling His exact purposes for me in the midst of these trials.
This is one of the ways that Christians must sacrifice. A popular view right now, especially amongst people of religious beliefs is that "if you believe this, life will be easy. Believing in this God will take all of your problems away and you will live a care-free life." But is this view truly Biblical? I would like to suggest that it's not.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - John 16:33
Jesus promises that we WILL HAVE TROUBLE. Just because we put our faith in Jesus Christ, does not mean that He then shields us from every little pothole in the road of life. No, Jesus promises that we will see trouble in this life, but He also promises peace, to those who trust in Him. Often people say "Well, if your God treats you like THAT, I want nothing to do with Him." But don't you see? He is treating us with love! In my own life, the times of the greatest trials and the deepest sadness, are also the time of the greatest peace that I have ever known. There is no reason to fear affliction as long as I trust in my Lord. He promises to never leave me and I know that He will always be there to provide the comfort that I need.
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." - 1 Peter 1:6-7
Here is another reason we face trials. Griefs and trials of all kinds come so that our faith "may be proved genuine and may result in praise...". How do we as Christians, set ourselves apart, and give God the praise that is due? By persevering through trials. By trusting in the Father even in the darkest of valleys. By opening up our hearts to His comfort and peace when we are hurting.
Though I don't always know why something happens, I do have peace. Though my heart is uncertain, I can stand on the promises that Jesus gave. That the afflictions and trials that God gives to me are not just random sufferings, but that they are playing a role in aiding the larger plan. A plan that is not mine, but Gods.