“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4: 12-13 NLV)
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2 NKJV)
I had a rough two weeks. They were filled with significant personal disappointment and pain. When I searched for hope and encouragement in God’s word, I was directed to these two scriptures. It took some time, effort and quiet to hear a message of love and understanding in my pain; for the last thing I was experiencing was joy.
When I get frustrated at the aspects of my life that are in turmoil, I realize that most of the time it is because I was focusing on doing what I can to manage, control or deal with them. Often my approach is to put the gloves on and gear up for the emotional or physical battle believing that at some point in the process I will figure out a way to manage, correct, or fix this.
It is only when they get all screwed up beyond my ability to cope and endure that I finally look to God. Then I cry out to God and ask Him “how come you let this get so messed up?” I am finally starting to realize I may be going about this all wrong. “We ignore Him in the storm until we have exhausted all our own abilities. Then we accuse Him of not” being there when we realize how much we need Him. (John Lynch)
When God undoes me in a storm, He is allowing me to see His greatness by revealing my weakness. When I attempt to manage problems within the limits of my human abilities, I am making God small. I am attempting to keep the issue manageable so I do not necessarily need His help. I am putting my trust in my abilities to manage or work through the chaos. Thankfully, God uses the storms in our lives to remind us how much we need Him and to help remind us of His awesome power and love.
This is a wonderful gift from a great, wise teacher and Father. While I don’t like to be reminded how small I really am, I love being reminded how great I am to Him; so much so that he is always focused on loving me, teaching me, guiding me, and protecting me. What a great comfort it is to know we have a Father who is right there when we finally reach out to Him only to realize He had always been there. He was simply waiting for us to realize how much we needed Him, waiting for us to bring Him into our chaos so His greatness and His love can be demonstrated in our lives.
Even in a dark and frustrating season this is where joy is revealed and celebrated in my life!
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