When we appeal to God, He may remove something that troubles us. There can be times, however, when He chooses not to. We tend to think we should never be uncomfortable. Any difficulty at all can be unacceptable to us. I find that, in most cases in fact, God does allow trials in our lives. It is His usual tool to shape us. God may teach us why He allows trials, while other times it is not for us to know why and to place our trust fully in Him. This is another discomfort we wish to avoid – we think somehow we can, or should know everything. Not knowing what to expect or how things will turn out can cause a great deal of anxiety in our hearts.
Severe trials can seem very long. In my own life, it was quite long indeed, spaced in decades. In the end, however, restoration, healing, and His love are what we experience no matter how dark it may have been. His tender mercy never fails, though we often fail ourselves along the way. There are many things in life you can not count on, but in Christ we have a sure trust that nothing can move.
Who can truly express all the love God showers on us? My own life - my breath, all that I am - I owe to Him. Freely, I owe it all - for freely He gave abundantly. A life consists of ever receiving, when it comes to God. There is nothing I can point to that I can claim my own, nothing that I did not receive from Him. We can give God nothing. What can a broken, imperfect, sinful person give to a Holy God? We certainly can not explain to Him that He should smile on us because we are such swell folks. The liberating truth is that He freely opens the floodgates of mercy and forgiveness in the beautiful waters of Jesus Christ. All the details of my life are in His hand, His care, His freely offered love.
What gifts I see from one end of my life to the other! It begins with the gift of life, it comes to wonderful fruition in salvation, it is enjoyed in given talents we all are entrusted with, and it consists of love, ever poured out on us each day. Life is new all over, again and yet again. We may stumble often or disappoint ourselves so badly we become ashamed. However, we learn only in Him can we truly live. We are free to experience this life when things are going well and when all seems to our own eyes to be falling apart. Praise God for the joy we have in Him! Life is sweet no matter the trials in His abundant blessings.
Artwork: © Jeffrey M Green. "Prayer". 7" x 9", graphite pencil.