The last year has been a mix of hard and wonderful all jumbled together into one. My last blog entry I wrote about James’ special education eligibility meeting where I found it difficult to keep up and was fighting discouragement because of my current limitations. Yes, being different is so hard. It is also however, the place in life that forces me, compels me, pushes me to stay right by the Lord’s side. I am learning that weakness is not all bad. It causes me to search for the Lord’s strength and trust, even though my circumstances are difficult. One of the most beautiful things I have learned and now cherish in my heart is He is with me, He sees my needs, He knows what is best for me and He freely gives me His strength through any of life’s storms. Lamentations 3:21-25 says it so much better than I can.
21Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
I’ve been pondering lately people in the scriptures who, under very difficult circumstances, chose to stay on the path He had before them instead of veering off course. Consider with me just a few…
After being badly beaten, Paul and Silas sat shackled in the heart of a Roman prison. A sudden and strong earth quake shook the prison so severely their shackles came loose and the doors to the prison opened. Paul and Silas could have run to their freedom but instead chose to stay. — In doing so the jailer and his whole family was saved. (Acts 16:22-34)
Moses went before Pharoah and demanded the Hebrew slaves be set free. Pharoah said, “No.” Moses returned to the slaves and told them they were not free AND now had to make brick without straw being provided for them. Even though the children of Israel were so angered, Moses chose to stay. In doing so he experienced the ultimate joy of leading the Hebrew slaves out of misery to the promise land. (Exodus 6-11)
Ruth was widowed and could have returned to her family but instead chose to remain with her mother-in-law Naomi. They were poor beggars and she was forced to glean small portions of wheat in a rich mans field to have enough food for Naomi and her to survive. Ruth chose to stay. — In doing so, Ruth found the love of Boaz and her life was forever changed. (The book of Ruth)
Jesus wept in the garden of Gethsemane. He was deeply tortured within his soul with all that was yet to come. Jesus could have run away, he could have called angels to defend him and yet he chose to stay. — In doing so he defeated sins grip, and became the savior of the world. (Matthew 26:36-46 – Luke 22:39-46 – Mark 14:32-42)
Choosing to stay – trust – hope – believe – endure – persevere – wait and have faith may be the hardest choice we make sometimes. But let us never forget.
…because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
To stay, or not to stay? To believe or not believe? To hope or not to hope? To persevere or not to persevere? We all face moments of choice like these during our lives. In that moment, if we are willing to stop and remember God’s faithfulness He will
… make ALL GRACE abound to you, so that having ALL SUFFICIENCY in ALL THINGS at ALL TIMES, you may abound in every good work. (emphasis mine) 2 Corinthians 9:8
The world we live in is full of sadness, heartache and pain. However, even in the midst of those hardships, when we choose to stay right by the Lord’s side, we can and will discover hope in the midst of our pain and joy in the midst of our sorrows. When the storm clouds come rolling in and hopelessness looms, take some time to remember those who have gone before us. Paul, Moses, Ruth and most of all our loving savior Jesus. Learn from their steadfastness, choose to stay, endure and trust and you, like me, will be amazed by how quickly God’s strength fills you and helps you endure to the end!
May we all experience the truth of Lametations 3:21-25 and 2 Corinthians 9:8 overflowing in our lives!
One final note. For all of you who prayed for my procedure this past week…THANK YOU!
I made up a little link showing how well I feel and how happy we are! So Happy! :0) It is great to finally be headache free and to be able to have a little fun in the midst of our life storm!!