Well, here we are in one of the busiest seasons for pastors. Our Christmas dinner theater started last night, and runs twice today. It was so much fun!!! We're doing "God With Us", the theme is seeing God in the stories and lives of others....and that has got me to thinking....(uh oh!)
Life is hard. Most of us have experienced this in one way or another. And sometimes it stinks! BUT - we survive, we enjoy and we love through it all!! Hearing the testimonies of the amazing things God has done in the lives of others is inspiring, and thinking about all we've been through as a family is amazing! Through all of it God is good, and His love endures forever. His mercies are new every morning, and His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I stand by a statement I have made many times in my own trials....I don't know how people get through life without the grace and mercy of God!
I am constantly confronted with how brutal life can be for people. I see good people being hurt, abused, abandoned, and forgotten all the time. I see some of them come through it stronger and with more faith than ever before. I see some people walk away from God and head down a path of sure destruction. My heart breaks for every one of them.
What my MusicMan and I went through over this past year alone could have destroyed us, if we had let it. The things our extended family has endured could have done the same. BUT for the grace of God! It was in those times that we chose to draw near to the one who in turn, draws near to us. Nothing looked perfect in the process, and it was HARD....but we made it! Things still aren't easy, and memories will invade at the most inopportune times, but God has and will continue to sustain us. I know this with all certainty because I TRUST Him - and He hasn't let me down yet!
He hasn't always worked things out the way I would have done it, but it looks so much better with His stamp of approval. There have been times in my past that God has allowed me to have exactly what I prayed for, and it was a total disaster! Then, He gently showed me what He had for me all along.....and it was exactly what I needed.
I tried life on my own, completely shutting God out of every thought and decision I made. From that, I made a horrible mess of my circumstances, friendships, and my heart. There is still work to be done to undo what I created in me....but I know God is working all things out for my good, because I love Him, and I trust Him and I have completely and wholly turned my life over to Him.
There are people out there who think God miraculously makes your life into a sunny bed of roses when you decide to follow Him. How untrue and absurd that is! God stands by His Word, and whatever a man sows, so shall he reap. Ouch! Good or bad, you're gonna get a harvest....so be careful what you're planting! Yes, bad things happen for no reason at all, and to good people, but that doesn't mean God's not there. There is an enemy of our soul who wants to kill us, any way he can, and he will try everything! BUT, there is a lover of our soul, who wants good and perfect gifts for us, and He is our protector, our banner, our strong tower, our provider, our healer, our deliverer!! We just need to take one simple step, and believe Him to be true!
I know in my life, I wouldn't have it any other way! I pray that someone will read this and be encouraged, and hope will spring alive inside you, and you will believe that God is in control, and He won't let you down! He may not deliver you from what you're facing, but He will surely carry you through it!
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
~ Psalm 23:4
Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.
~ Psalm 25:4-5