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Anyone could see by the expression on my face that I wasn’t ok. My people always know when a cloud descends upon my spirit. It simply wasn’t a good day.
The day turned into a week of gloom.
I had a hard time opening my Bible, and, when I did, the words sounded like a mantra, rather than true comfort.
Silence is a refuge when sadness permeates my days. I’m not one to voice disappointments regarding my circumstances.
But my heart was complaining.
Pitching a fit.
After a couple of days living as a recluse in my own house, I decided to talk. And so I voiced my disappointment regarding the circumstances.
I voiced what was hiding in my heart all along: My lack of understanding. The lack of apparent meaning for the valley we face.
And right there, as the words that were clouding my heart came out of my mouth, I could feel His Presence in the room.
The One who doesn’t need my words, because He reads my heart.
And even as I spoke, I knew the answer.
“My thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways My ways.” Isaiah 55:8
My lips may not have questioned Him…
But my heart certainly did.
Have you ever found yourself in that same position? When you know the answer, even before you pose the question?
When you look back and see God’s faithfulness displayed, over and over again, and yet, your heart rehearses a tantrum when a new trial comes along?
Are you nodding right now?
You’ve seen His hand in the desert. His miraculous mana falling down from Heaven. Just enough for each day.
You’ve experienced His peace in the midst of the fiercest war.
You’ve witnessed His healing in your body, and soul.
Until there comes along a new trial… and although you KNOW… your heart forgets.
And instead of telling your heart the Truth, you allow it to be distracted by the lies. So you find yourself acting like someone who doesn’t know better…
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16
When Paul wrote these words, I believe he had these moments in mind.
These very human moments in the life of the believer. Moments when we know the right answer, and yet choose to deny our faith with our words… or deeds.
Moments when the enemy of our soul smiles, accomplished. Because he gets from us exactly what he wanted:
Questioning Yahweh’s sovereignty…
Doubting His unchanging goodness and grace.
And, often, shaking the strength of our testimony to those who watch us walk through the storm.
But, you know what I found out?
I found out that God’s gaze towards me that day was not one of reprimand and judgement.
It was one of Grace.
Instead of looking down on me, He lavished me with compassion, as if to say:
I know you. I love you. I understand. I forgive you.
Now look up. Pick up the pieces. Refocus.
I guess that’s one of the reasons He calls me His child.
Because sometimes, on some of those hard days, I act like one. A child, that is.
And that’s ok.
That’s why grace is so awesome, you know? Because it doesn’t matter how many times we mess up, His Grace always restores, forgives and forgets.
And this Grace is what makes me smile again.
No – the trial isn’t over. There’s not an end in sight.
Still, the Sun is shining down on me, lifting my spirit as the rays of springtime pierce through the window.
So I rise, refocused and replenished by the promise that nothing escapes from Yahweh’s sovereign grasp.
And if He allows it, then It must be good.
Oh, it must be so good!
I choose to make the certainty of God’s promises the anchor of my heart.
“When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:13-20