Blessings,  Lessons,  Test,  Trial,  What I'm Reading

When It Makes No Sense

It was one of those days. I’d been dealing with something heavy on my heart. Something that just isn’t how things should be. This led me to look at others and wonder why my situation couldn’t be fixed like their situations seem to be. This day, as He does often, God spoke in various ways as I spent time with Him on my deck.

I started with the song, Sovereign Over Us, one I listen to especially when I just need the reminder of His sovereignty over EVERYTHING. Take a listen.

My Bible reading then took me to John 21 and the conversation Jesus had with Peter, after He told him repeatedly to “feed My sheep”.

When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him? ”“If I want him to remain until I come,” Jesus answered, “what is that to you? As for you, follow me.

John 21:21-22

I was convicted again by Jesus’ words I’d read many times, and was reminded that my assignment was different from anyone else’s. Yours is too. I don’t need to look at her and wonder why her situation looks better, easier, different than mine. I just need to follow Jesus. He knows what He’s doing even if I don’t!

I just finished two books within a day of this. One is The Prisoner in the Third Cell by Gene Edwards.

It’s a fictional look at John the Baptist just before he was beheaded by King Herod. John wondered if he’d been mistaken about Jesus being the Messiah. Certainly he wouldn’t be imprisoned if He was. Surely the king wouldn’t execute him. He just didn’t understand. Jesus didn’t really give him a clear explanation of this situation. In the book, this phrase was repeated often: “And blessed are you if you are not offended with me.” (Matthew 11:6) When we do not understand His ways, we must trust Him anyway, and not become offended. He is always good, always faithful…no matter how dire our situation is.

The second book I just finished is by Mary Beth Chapman, Choosing to See, written after the loss of her and Steven Curtis Chapman’s young daughter.

She is brutally honest about her pain and her lack of understanding of where God was in it all. Yet, she chose to see Who He is and trust Him even when she is not happy with the terrible loss.

By the way, also read Steven Curtis Chapman‘s book, Between Heaven and the Real World.

The final “chapter” in this day was a devotional email (subscribe here) from Paul David Tripp. This day he talked about our dreams, which aren’t necessarily bad because they compel us into action at times. But he ended the message with this:

The ability to project forward and think about where you would like to be is good. Responsible stewardship for the Kingdom of God requires planning, so we must be able to “see” our goals to determine how to reach them.But be on guard: when fueled by selfish desires, your dreams will compete with God for the rulership of your heart. If left unchecked, your dream will functionally replace God as your source of security and hope.

Paul David Tripp

Now, one more thing I read a few days after this as I as reading The Hannah Whitall Smith Collection.

Trouble and sorrow, therefore, are not our curse, but one of our most cherished rights. We are like statues, “hewn in the rough,” which can only be perfectly shaped by means of the chisel’s blows; and these blows are surely the statue’s right. This, then, is the meaning of trouble. It is to make us good. Since we have so often experienced our deserts to be turned into the garden of the Lord, and have found fir-trees and myrtle-trees coming up where we thought there were only thorns and briers, the marvellous thing is that we should ever let ourselves be so utterly cast down and overwhelmed when fresh trouble comes. I think it would be a good exercise of soul for us to write out a little record for our own private use of all the times when this marvellous transformation has happened in our experience. It might make us less ready to despair under our next trial.

Hannah Whitall Smith

So, I write, and as I do, I process. You can see why this was a special morning on my deck, and I am so grateful. I saw the Lord’s message for me. Perhaps this will encourage you as you read and listen to the messages I’ve included in this post as you face your own questions that may never be answered this side of heaven.

Watch next week for a follow up post! Please also see More Good News About the Wait.

Banner photo by Evan Dennis on Unsplash


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