I used to be confused. I used to think, "If God loves me, why is He doing this?" Then, I remember, we are not here on earth for God to give us things, relationships, jobs to make us happy. He is the reason for our existence in the first place. God WILL put us through things. You can count on that. It's not punishment - but rather a means of keeping our relationship with Him near and dear to our hearts.
Going through yucky situations keeps us close to Him. I am so glad for that. Being a believer is not about a set of rules to follow - do this, don't do that, but rather, a whole nother (not a word, I know) way of life - when I know that God is NEVER away from me, and that he will NEVER forsake me, and that as long as I follow Him and keep my faith in HIM, and not what I want, or even other people who love me and genuinely want what's best for me, I automatically can feel peace in the situation.
It's very easy for me to get caught up in "What's coming next? What if we aren't prepared for ____? What if this goes wrong?" Well, there will ALWAYS be "What ifs?" The key is to keep your focus on HIM - not on your situation. I struggle with this everyday, but I am thankful that He hasn't allowed me to give up. He shows me in big ways and in small that He's got it all under control. He does hear my prayers. There have been things that I have watched the Lord do for me, for my friends and for my family that I thought WERE IMPOSSIBLE AND WOULD NEVER HAPPEN. Things that bring tears to my eyes when I think about them, even now, years later. Thank God for allowing us to suffer the consequences of taking "the wrong road". If He didn't love us enough to do that, we'd never turn around and get back to the right road, would we?
God made us. He knows every intimate detail of our lives and of our hearts. HE knows what He's doing. I think of His work in my life like a seed that's been planted. It is growing and moving and working underneath the soil, where I can't see it to check on it and analyze it and fret over it every second, but IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT IT ISN'T GROWING.
The same is true of God's work in our lives. He is always working on the behalf of those who love and trust Him. I don't need to understand why and when and exactly how it's all going to work out. That job we lost, or illness we suffered or promotion/acknowledgment we didn't receive, or trial that we thought we wouldn't survive is all part of His plan for us. Or, the countless things that happen in life that we don't understand. All God expects from us is to pray and read His word and try to do it His way. Our obedience brings Him glory. Trusting Him makes so much more room for Him to work in our lives. Why resist? :) It is something that is done as preparation for things that are to come - wonderful things that we can't foresee. He already knows how it will work out. He doesn't need our help or for us to try to control it.
I don't typically blog about spiritual matters - but, I just felt moved on this glorious Sunday, after so many near me have suffered the natural disasters of over 60 tornadoes that passed through our state yesterday - and those who have prayed and prayed quite a bit lately over the health of their children and loved ones, and who never gave up hope, and trusted that the Lord would take care of them. Also, with things in my own life that I have worried and worried over - and worked so hard to stop worrying over and trust the Lord instead. And He did take care of it. He did provide. He always has and always will.
At the same time, so many wonderful things have happened this weekend. Confirmations of God's provision for me, for example, and announcements of friends who are expecting a wonderful little baby, or friends who have decided to spend the rest of their lives together - friends who prayed over their relationship from the beginning. God sees the big picture. Good and bad. Be grateful in times of plenty, and times of trouble.
Things aren't always easy. But HE IS ALWAYS WORKING FOR OUR BEST INTEREST. His ways are not our ways. And His time is not our time. But His is so much better.
Thank GOD that I am not in control of my own life, cause Lord KNOWS I ain't got the slightest clue.
Thanks Jesus for being in control and loving me before I even knew who you were.
I also firmly believe that Jesus lives in us - and I know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus has blessed me tremendously through priceless friendships and relationships in different areas of my life. I am SO THANKFUL for those who are always there for me in good and bad - when I'm doing right or when I'm doing wrong - those who love me enough to tell me the truth - whether it's what I want to hear or not, but because it's what I need to hear. I hope that I can be that kind of friend to those in my life as well. I'll leave you today with this picture that my mama has that I just love - it reminds me that God is always looking out for us no matter how rough the waters may be.
Have a lovely day, friends!