Where to even begin with all the lessons the Lord has been teaching me since my last blog? It certainly has been a time of uncomfortability in many ways and comfortability in others, but more of the former. I can tell you I would prefer the latter and yet I see the value of the former. It is in the trials, unknowns, and uncomfortable situations that I have come to see God working not just on my heart but in all the details of every circumstance.
So how’s life been the last month? Hard! But the lesson’s that the Lord has and still is teaching me are worth it all. I have come to learn that the only place to ever start and end is God. I have come to see that He is the only answer I need. As some song lyrics go “The King of Love my Shepherd is whose goodness faileth never, I nothing lack if I am His and He is mine forever.”
Now let me tell you, oh how I know this to be true, but oh how my flesh wrestles with this! A recent trip I went on revealed this to me very clearly. I came to have a fuller understanding of the element of experience. One can prepare well for life’s events such as marriage, kids, moves, tragedies, etc., but no amount of preparation can produce the emotions and feelings that will only come in the experience. And it is in these situations you come to find what your heart believes and turns to.
As I reflect back on the last month I see victories and failures in my heart response. Failures when I realized I wanted to know why and sought an answer to justify what happened. But as I was explaining to my niece just this afternoon I don’t need to know the why because I know the Who. The Who is my God and He loves me and is at work to sanctify my heart in all things. My response is to trust and not question, after all my God will only do that which is for my best. I am His and He is the sustainer of my soul. This is my reality no matter the circumstances that come my way. This is the hope I have in this life and the joy and peace that carry me through the days. Christ is life, He is light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:4-5). His blood has paid for my sins and His love and care for me is ceaseless (Eph. 1:6-9). If you don’t know God I pray you turn to Him today and if you do know God I pray you remember who He is and tether your heart to His truth.
Experiences of all sorts will come my friends. Where will your heart turn when the emotions and feelings are strong and overwhelming? I pray it is God. Psalm 46:1-2a says “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…” Psalm 63:5-8 says “My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”
Cling to truth my friends. Cling to the Word of God. Memorize Scripture! His truth will sustain you in every experience. His truth will fill you with joy overflowing. Remember joy is not the absence of pain and sorrow it is the presence and purpose of Christ in our pain and suffering (Susan Hunt). I pray you come to realize this truth and when the trials of life come to overtake you recall the words from Scripture, recall spiritual truths, recall these lyrics from the song My Soul Finds Rest in God Alone from Psalm 62:
I’ll set my gaze on God alone
And trust in Him completely;
With ev’ry day pour out my soul
And He will prove His mercy.
Though life is but a fleeting breath,
A sigh too deep to measure,
My King has crushed the curse of death
And I am His forever.
If you have put your faith and trust in Christ you are His forever. He has crushed the curse of death! No experience can overtake you. Truly it can’t but in honesty there are days my flesh wrestles with this reality especially when the heaviness of life is surrounding me. And trust me, working in medicine this is often a daily occurrence. So how do I prepare, I am still a work in progress but consistently turning to His Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17), grounding myself in truth, and surrounding myself with God fearing men and women who point me back to Christ I have found to be invaluable resources to enable me to face the experiences God has prepared for me.
I shall leave you with this hymn an elderly women chose out for our weekly Bible Study in the book of 1 John. I had just returned from an eventful travel trip, yes the one I mentioned earlier, at the beginning of this year and I dare say this was the most encouraging and convicting hymn my heart needed at that moment. The Lord sees and He cares. May you never forget and may you look to the future with joy knowing for those in Christ it is Another Year with Thee.
1 Another year is dawning! Dear Father, let it be,
In working or in waiting, Another year with Thee;
Another year of progress, Another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
2 Another year of mercies, Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness In the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning Upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, Of quiet happy rest.
3 Another year of service, Of witness for Thy love;
Another year of training For holier work above.
Another year is dawning! Dear Father, let it be,
On earth or else in heaven, Another year for Thee.