Friday, July 09, 2010

Intentions, Part Four

This is turning into a saga and I really didn't intend it to... no pun intended! While I was thinking about the next post which is now going to have to be part five, God reminded me of something. It's not so fun to think about. But you know if we intentionally live for Christ we will be changed. And if we raise our kids to be like Jesus they will be changed. I want them to be changed and be more like Jesus. I like to think of it in terms of things going super duper. The whole rainbows and happy faces mentality I refer to at times. But more often than not, as we deliberately move closer to Christ or when He's trying to get our attention change comes through pain, trials and suffering.

Why would He do that? If I'm growing in Him and reading the Bible and praying that means only good things will happen. If I'm raising my kids to love Jesus, and building good relationships with them then all with go great and they will be perfect. They'll make the right choices, love their siblings and all the other things I want for them. Right?

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. " James 1:3

Wrong! It's through the difficult and painful times that God really causes us to grow. We have to be mature and complete! It's where our faith is put to the test. As we trudged through difficult struggles last winter I worried about how it would affect the kids. There were lots of unknowns. There were honestly only a few fleeting moments when we questioned if our marriage would survive, but the fall out included thoughts of moving, job changes and general life upheaval. When we talked to the kids about things, they were scared. I wanted so badly to shield them from every stress in this situation and life, but I couldn't.

It was a huge growing time for us to be able to respond with things like: I'm scared too but God is with us. He knows the future. He loves us. He will provide for us. And we'll be together no matter what. It isn't what I would have chosen for us, but God used it for good in our lives. It brought us closer, made us appreciate what we have in each other and showed us who is in control. Those lessons were important for us to learn, even if they were a bit painful.

Yesterday, I was praying with a friend from church. She is a great example to me of a Godly woman. When her kids were young she was diagnosed with Leukemia. She had a bone marrow transplant. They were not sure she would live several times. She went on to make a full, miraculous recovery. Their family was brought together in a powerful way. I'm sure they wouldn't have chosen that path, but God used it for His purposes. They might never even know all of them on this earth.

So don't look for God just under the rainbow. Don't only look for or expect growth through fun things and good times. God doesn't always work like that. Maybe you are in a financial tough spot. It's easy to wonder why God would allow that instead of looking at what He's doing.

It's a weird peaceful feeling to know that no matter what comes, God is in control. He has our best interest at heart. He loves our kids even more than we do. Try as we may to shield them from difficulty and pain, eventually life will happen. I want to instead teach them to rely on God always, good or bad. And to continue to walk with Jesus with Joy knowing that our suffering here will only last a little while. Soon we will be face to face with our Savior. Isn't that the point of life? To look forward to heaven and Jesus? I know that for me, the good times don't provide that like the hard times. And maybe that's the point.

"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised."
Job 1:21

"The sun will no more be your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
Your sun will never set again,
and your moon will wane no more,
the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your days of sorrow will end."
Isaiah 60:19-20

1 comment:

Peter and Nancy said...

I just got back from 12 days away from home, and found your thoughtful posts waiting for me. :o) Thanks for articulating things I think about often.