|photo by Miz. November|
When I say that life has been challenging the past few years, I mean it. Income has been increasingly scarce. Depression has been increasingly heavy. My health has been increasingly perplexing. Life has been increasingly confusing.
But I also realize that my problems are pretty shallow in comparison to the problems that others face on a daily basis. Though I am never sure where my next paycheck will come from, or even if I will have one, I have yet to go hungry. Though I research continuously to find a cure for my depression and fatigue, I am not in the hospital fighting for my life. Nor are any of my loved ones. Though I seem to never know what my next step in life should be, I am fully aware that my hope is in the Lord and He will guide me even when I don't see or hear him.
It's time to get real with you.
I am a Christian, although I hate to even proclaim that because to be a Christian is to be "like Christ", and I fall miserably short of that description. A little over a year ago, the Lord started working in my heart. That's a very nice way of putting it. It was more like the Lord smacked me on the back of the head and asked me just what on His green earth I thought I was doing. That, my friends, is called chastisement. It's God's way of keeping His children in line. And I had been ignoring it for far too long.
But when the Holy Spirit becomes so heavy inside of you that you can no longer ignore it's presence, things change. Specifically, my heart.
As a child of God I know that every good gift and every perfect gift comes from Him. Anything good that I have in my life is only because my heavenly Father has allowed me to have it. Because God loves every single one of His children, he wants to see them blessed and fulfilled. We are the ones who get in the way of our own blessings. But God sees the big picture and we don't. He sees what we really need, not what looks like it would be nice. Many times God will ask us to step out in faith and put all of our trust in Him, no holds barred, so He can show us just how good he is.
Although I had been a born again Christian since middle school, it wasn't until last fall that I finally laid everything at my Savior's feet and relinquished control. I begged to know my Father on a deeper level. I asked over and over for discernment and direction. And now I can say that I truly desire God's will for my life over my own. Why, you ask? Because pursuing my own will has only led to heartache and hopelessness. It took me all these years to finally realize that my way was the wrong way.
Fast forward to this year and my life looks very much like a demolition site.
I have no job. I'm getting by on very little. My eyes are dark and body feels frail. My mental and emotion state is desperate. Everything else in my life is in a holding pattern. No movement. No progress. To the unbeliever, this wasteland looks like misplaced faith on my part. But to those who know the Lord, this empty lot looks like the perfect construction site.
I am the embodiment of Romans 5: 3-5.
All my false hopes have been stripped away. My tribulations are building patience in me. And this patience will be the foundation for experience. And that experience will be the very thing that makes my hope real. You see, hope doesn't come from putting your trust in the things that you can touch. It's easy to believe in the things that you can see with your own eyes. It's only when you put your trust in the things that cannot be seen or touched that true hope is born. I have no hope in this broken world. Every shred of hope that I have is in the hands of the Savior who died for me on a cross two thousand years ago. And no matter how long my tribulations last, I can glorify in them knowing that God promised that my hope would not make me a fool. Hope will not make me ashamed. He promised that he will not leave me nor forsake me. He will finish the work that he started in me. This construction site will not be abandoned. He promised.
And God never breaks his promises.