Several years ago, we had a particularly full year and a half or so – a whirlwind of highs and lows.
We saw our daughter marry, our youngest son graduate college, and our oldest son completely change career paths, setting in motion significant change.
Then and even now…
In and outside our family, we’ve seen beauty and brokenness.
Relationships flourish, even restored, and relationships end.
Health return and health fail.
Plans come to pass and plans be turned upside down.
Sometimes the roller coaster of happiness and weariness has felt overwhelming.
Oh, how I love those two words that hold such truth! For in them is abiding joy…regardless of circumstances.
His call is to lay down our burdens. He may not always give the answers we want, but HE will BE our peace and HE will give us rest in the midst.
How many times have we watched things happen seemingly out of control?
How many times have we or someone we love been hurt by another?
How many times have we known what God was asking us to do, and, yet, our response has been a whiney, “But, God…”? And, in that instant, we are the petulant child – quite sure we know better how we would “fix” situations, what will make us “happy,” or how we believe we should respond to hard people. In general, we plow ahead, confident of how we think we should react to life with its occasional (sometimes feeling more like routine) curveballs regardless of God’s direction.
Yet, it is also in that moment that, if we will be still and listen. If we will run to His Word and not harden our heart to His voice, we will hear the Spirit of God speak as He reminds us that He isn’t surprised by any unexpected turn, any unmet expectation, any physical pain, or any hope deferred, even if unforeseen or unanticipated by us. Our Lord and King, our Adonai – God, whose tender love for His children never ceases, is actually doing so many more things than we can see.
Because of that we can say in a different tone and with a humble, submitted heart, even if through tears, “Yes this…BUT GOD!”
And it is good!
He may be disciplining us, His beloved children, who often need a reset, yet sometimes fail to see it.
He may be chipping away at ours or someone else’s self-satisfaction or self-rule that directly or indirectly affects us or others.
He may be preparing something far greater for us than we can know or begin to imagine.
He may be using circumstances and even wounds from others to make us more like Himself and able to empathize with another, help another heal, or show the same grace and mercy we have been given.
He may be teaching us to forgive even if the hurt is never acknowledged and we are never asked for forgiveness.
He may be teaching us to die to self.
He may be working through our response to our circumstances to point a watching world to Himself.
There are myriads of ways that He uses the most difficult times for His glory and our good. But always He intends that we set our gaze on Him instead of what we see with our eyes or feel with our hearts.
Always, He is seeking to draw us near and set our feet on the firm foundation of Truth.
So, He calls us to “not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
As redeemed children of God, we have the privilege to not grow weary as we pray, as we set our hope on the faithfulness of our El Shaddai – our all sufficient One, the unchanging truth of God’s Word, and the “LIVING hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” so that we are “filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (I Peter 1:3, 8) even when, at times, our hearts are breaking and the very breath of life seems to be sucked from our lungs.
We have the responsibility and the power to not grow weary as we choose obedience to God even when our flesh cries out to the contrary, to do it our own way or respond to hurtful people in like kind.
We have the God-given charge to not grow weary as we re-format our thinking, not allowing the temptation to think outside God’s Word to set up camp in our hearts and minds but rather, to “…demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and (to) take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). It may be that we are to ask the Lord to show us our faulty thinking in the moment and intentionally remind ourselves of what is true and/or it may be a proactive choice to change what we allow and choose to put in our minds and dwell on which then permeates our thoughts and how we respond to our emotions and temptations.
We have the opportunity to not grow weary as we speak words of life and truth as well as setting forth an attitude of joy that is not dependent on circumstances, trusting man, or gaining our identity from another’s opinion or treatment of us, but is rooted and grounded in trusting our Sovereign God.
Our lives can grow chaotic and we may feel out of control.
We do not rest on what we see. We do not rest on what we feel. We rest on truth…
He is faithful.
He is merciful.
He is Redeemer.
He is the Mender of the brokenhearted.
He is Healer – sometimes of our broken bodies but always of our broken souls as we call on and submit to Him.
He is the Father who disciplines and sometimes lets us have our own way to show us the deceitfulness of sin and our need of Him.
He is our Abba Daddy who is ready to restore us to Himself and draw us near as we repent and return.
He is unchanging.
He is our peace.
He is good.
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” (C.S. Lewis, Aslan being a character picture of Christ in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses (sin), made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus!” Ephesians 2:4-7