For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:1.
Apostle Paul suffered greatly after his conversion and yet he never ceased to boast of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Even so, I am sure Paul wondered many times whether he had chosen the right path on his Damascus Journey.
I spent many years pursuing and serving what I believed to be my “Calling” only to discover what I was doing, while honorable and noteworthy, was not my total purpose. Instead, it was preparation for who I would become “for such a time as this.” I was being empowered for the season when “all around my soul would give way.” I was becoming sensitized to the pain of others to remind me that I am not alone in this struggle and that God is always near.
In my season of “life’s hitting hard,” I had to unlearn the many ways I developed to shield myself from hurt, rejection and vulnerability, and to allow myself to be broken so I could be completely healed. This new day required a fresh anointing and courage to follow, by faith, a winding path no matter how it would turn. Admittedly, I have learned the tough lessons of obedience through suffering and have accepted that my way may never be visibly clear when I truly walk by faith and not by sight. Faith keeps us holding to God’s Hand.
As a lifelong learner, experience has taught me many things I could never have learned in school. That pain can prepare you for purpose. That what I was born to be cannot be broken by what I go through. That pain is part of a healing process and brokenness somehow makes you whole. I learned that whatever else pain does, it pushes you to another level that brings you closer to God.
When life hits hard, it is also a good time for “contextual remembering” that your power is not in where you are now, but in where you’ve been. And if God brought you through “then,” God can surely bring you through “now.” The wisdom of God’s word teaches us, “He that hath begun a good work in us is able to perform it to the day of Jesus Christ.” God is Alpha and Omega and what God starts, God also finishes.
What we go through is never a surprise to God. We are exactly where we should to be at any given moment. Many, who were younger, smarter and more prosperous, have passed on, but we are still here because God’s WILL has yet to be accomplished in and through us. “These light afflictions are but for a moment” and are strengthening us for a greater purpose that is known only to the God who created us. The God who will always LOVE, FAVOR and WANT us — even in seemingly unfavorable times.
Prayer: Father, though we try and sometimes fail in our trying, help us to never give up on you or ourselves. Strengthen us in all our weak places and never stop reminding us that you love us no matter what! In Jesus’ Name. Amen