Our home group has been studying the book of Genesis. We recently studied chapter 22, where Abraham is called by God to travel to Mt. Moriah to offer up his beloved son. Abraham had waited many many years for this promised child. Now God was asking him to do the unthinkable. I cannot imagine that Abraham didn't have some questions for God. Why God? Will You pull through if I obey? I am obeying in faith- but none of this really makes any sense! After all, Abraham was human. And unlike us, he didn't know the end of the story...
Our family is standing at a new crossroad as well. My husband (and the amazing father of our large brood) is being called to work away from home 28 days at a time. Like Abraham, I am full of questions. Why God? Will You pull through if we obey? We are stepping out in faith- but none of this makes any sense at all!
Over the past few weeks the tears have fallen freely. My heart aches as I think of being separated from my best friend. I don't look forward to having to do life "alone." No-one can get our 2 year old to fall asleep as quickly as her daddy. No-one is as good at grilling burgers or unclogging toilets (which happens a lot with 8 girls in the house!). I feel sad at the missed times of worship together, as well as the missed anniversaries and birthdays that are sure to come. With another baby on the way, life can feel very overwhelming. As I spent many many hours reflecting on the why's of our life, the Lord flooded my heart with Scripture, quietly and gently reminding me of His promises. Promises I can cling to and believe, even when life doesn't make sense...
Isaiah 55: 8-9 "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."
These verses remind me that God knows the big picture. Right now I can't see the forest through the trees, but I can rest assured that God is on His throne, and He knows full well what He is doing! This season in life could be a stepping stone to something much bigger. I can trust Him completely.
2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
No matter what lies ahead, God's grace is sufficient- it is enough. It's so easy for my frail, human mind to think that I know better. God promises to be strong when I am weak.
Isaiah 40:31 "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
My strength will be renewed by waiting on the Lord- and this is to be a continual, habitual, daily occurrence. He will help me to continue on and keep me from weariness and fainting.
Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
God wants me to remember that He is always with me- I have nothing to fear! He is my God and I am, along with each of my children and my husband, in the palm of His hand. He promises to hold us up. Isn't that amazing?
It's often hard to be still and wait for God's leading. God cannot lead if I am always hurried and rushing here and there, always responding to the pressures around me. He desires for me to be wanting Him, waiting for Him and willing and available for Him.
Psalm 31: 14 & 15 " But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, 'You are my God,'
'My times are in Your hand...' "
I have to daily purpose in my heart to trust in My God- not in my feelings, circumstances or emotions which are always changing and often fickle. All of my life's why's and when's and where's are in God's hands- I will choose to trust in His goodness.
Psalm 9:2 "I will be glad and rejoice in You, I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High."
I think this verse (and many other verses in God's Word) speak about my attitude, especially in setting the atmosphere of my home. I must choose to be joyful, to rejoice and sing God's praises. This trusting, joyful attitude is what my children need to see in my home. Here is where I often fail miserably- but with God's help, it is an area I desire to grow in. There is no room for self-pity!
I Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
Anne Voskamp's book has taught so many of us to count God's blessings in our lives. It is so easy to look at all of the bad things in life which bring grumbling, complaining and discontentment. When we obey God's Word and begin to be truly thankful in everything, our whole perspective on life changes. I can grumble that my husband is always gone and that I have to do all of the work by myself- OR I can be thankful that I still have a husband, that he is willing to work hard to provide for us and that he will home for 2 weeks at the end of each rotation- and that's 20 weeks off every year! I am also thankful for modern technology that allows us to communicate rather quickly, even with so many miles between us.
Already my husband has made an impact with his co-workers. Before each meal, he takes off his hard hat, bows his head and thanks his Heavenly Father for his meal. He observed that he now sees at least half a dozen other men bowing their heads and praying as well before the meal. He is also known for always being positive, joyful and ready to work (even if it's doing something other than his job description). The other day a man came up to him and asked him what made him so happy all the time. He said "Whatever you are eating, drinking or smoking in your room- I want some of that!" My husband went on to explain that it is because he is a Christian and has Jesus living in his heart. He went on to give this man the gospel and invited him to also give his life to Jesus. This man, although intrigued, said he believed he was telling the truth, but wasn't sure he was ready for that kind of commitment. Maybe these are the very reasons my husband is working away- to be a witness of His Savior to those who maybe have never been confronted with the gospel or met a real Christian. I am so thankful that he is living out the Great Commission right where he is...
I don't know what tomorrow may bring. I also don't know what you may be facing right now. But it is likely that you also have a situation that may just not make any sense. It may be a wayward child that should know better, the loss of a parent or husband which happened rather suddenly. It may be an accident that left permanent damage or a recent prognosis from your doctor. It may be the pain of not having children. I know of several friends currently dealing with the sadness of a loved one taking their own life. Whatever your circumstance, you can trust God's promises! They are available for you to claim and cling to when life doesn't make any sense...
I have always loved Corrie ten Boom's poem "Life is but a Weaving..."