Following the Lord is –and will not be easy on this earth.
But what kind of real training is ever “easy?” The real kind is always going to be a challenge, if we are really going to learn something, and it be part of who we become.
Some people seem to endure more challenges… more struggles, more battles, deal with more pain, more traumas…. they live through more “impossible situations” than others. Honestly, more than I can even imagine having to endure. Just look at what Jesus had to endure.
Have you ever taken note of a person’s life and thought, “How in the world? And I thought my life was hard…but I can’t imagine going through what this person has endured…” Have you ever thought that? I have many times.
But I’ve noticed that the people who have come through the most, are often some of the most incredible human beings I know. They are some of the strongest, most authentic, most dedicated, most tender and loving… beautiful human beings I know.
It’s amazing how the hard times, the struggles, the real-life challenges, the traumas can be used by the Lord in such a way — this “way” that transforms a person into an absolute treasure, into “pure gold.”
And on the other hand, I see others who are completely crushed by their trials because they chose to be rooted in bitterness (or whatever) rather than taking hold of the Lord’s hand. He never intended for them to stay in that “quick sand.” He was going to use that bad situation they stepped in to make them stronger, to enrich them, to teach them… not for their destruction. The enemy planned destruction, but the Lord planned to use all of that for good, for a purpose. That’s what He does. ?
But we do have a say in all of that, don’t we? The Lord has given us choice. He has given us so many examples in the stories of the bible, lessons of what to do, and what not to do, for our own good. There are so many stories of this in His Word.
Isn’t that amazing that He did that? It’s all right there for us to learn from.
Have you ever read the story of Moses in Deuteronomy 3:23-29 and just felt sad and even burdened that he didn’t get to go into the promised land?
I came to it yesterday and I could feel what I had in my own heart, it bothered me, and I took that to the Lord, and had an honest moment with Him about it. “Father, I don’t like to admit this, but that seems ‘harsh’. Forgive me for thinking that way, please help me to know how to take this Word, give me understanding.”
He reminded me that while He is a loving, approachable Father, He sticks to His Word, and He does what He says He will do. He gives us the freedom to make choices, and as His child we must remember to have a healthy, obedient, reverent, “fear and trembling” in our relationship with Him.
I just have to trust Him, and His Word… Oh God, help me to follow so closely that there’s no room for me to ever “wonder” about Your ways, that I’ll just trust and obey!
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV
(I really don’t know why I got off on that… I’m sort of all over the place this morning)
So I’ll come back to this…
I love this quote:
“The grace and power of Jesus makes affliction livable.”
In all of the trials and struggles that we endure in this life, big and small… while following Him, if we keep our eyes on Him, if we cling to His arm, He will pull us out of the quick sand. Yes, the roots will try to grab us by the leg and pull us back down, the quick sand of this world will try to sink us, but if in our weakness we cling to the Lord with all our “might” and with all of our “trust” and all of our “faith”, we will not sink, we will not be destroyed.
His power and strength is made perfect in weakness.
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
We will rise up mightily, by the strength of the Lord! His strength will change us, grow us, and sustain us on this journey. What a JOY and incredible honor to be carried by His strength! He is our only hope. ?
“It is God who arms me with strength,
And makes my way perfect.” – Psalm 18:32
Thank you, Lord.