Friday, August 6, 2010

When Life Isn't Normal

It's good to be home! We spent a hot week at the Neshoba County Fair, but had such fun visiting with friends and family. After washing some five loads of clothes, I was ready to sleep in my own bed. When I woke the children up Sunday morning for church, the first thing Gracie said was "I'm so glad to have my life back to normal!"

Have you ever felt that way? Troublesome times come and you find yourself begging God for mercy. While we were away, one of the children I teach in my two year old Sunday School class went to be with Jesus. I was heartbroken and it certainly doesn't make sense and nor is it fair. Perhaps bad news seems to roost over your head and you you wonder why God isn't coming through?

I know this may sound a bit harsh, but God didn't come through for the majority of the disciples. All of them suffered horrendous deaths except John, who died peacefully. What do you do when God doesn't come through on your time frame and you have to go through it?

First, we must remember the times He DID come through and proved the dependability of His love. We must remember that God is not accountable to you and me. My husband enjoys making cakes from scratch. But in order to do that, he must add some bitter ingredients in order to make his cake taste sweet. Our life experiences are like that as well. God uses tough times to make us mature in Him.

When God doesn't come through on your time frame, remember the suffering of the grave that His Son took for you and me. I Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way of escape so that you can stand up under it." God's 'way of escape' out of the trial may not be a way out like you think, but it will be victory in the middle of it! And the amount of grace God gives is individualized for us because everyone's spiritual threshold is different.

Remember to delight in Him and remember the promise of His tomorrow. He is faithful and He will answer, whether we're alive to see the results of it or not. Just think of Moses and how he was looking for the Promised Land, but never got to see it although the children of Israel did.

Finally, we must remember His purpose. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." What is God's purpose then? His purpose is to make us into the image of Christ just like a sculpture works with his hands to make a piece of clay into the image of something. What is the most un-Christlike characteristic in your life? God will keep working on you and me until that characteristic goes away whether it is faithlessness, racism, prejudice, a bad attitude or anything else.

So while you and I may be longing for relief in a certain area of our life and longing for some normalcy, pray and focus on who God is in the midst of it all. He never changes nor does His love for us. Our spiritual thermometer may go up and down based on what God is doing in our life, but Jesus Christ never changes.

Jesus said it best in John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." This means he has overcome whatever trouble I may have. Focus on Him and not the circumstance you're facing.

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