Pondering the past year, I realized I'm now a part of those people who have or have had cancer. Nobody would volunteer to be in this group. I never even imagined it a year ago. And I surely didn't sign up for the joys of those having an ostomy.
Then again I didn't want to be in the class of women who know the heartbreak of miscarriages either. Five babies gone too early and one little girl at nearly 20 weeks gestation. I'm absolutely positive my pastor's family nor my sister-in-law ever dreamed they'd be in the group of folks who have experienced the loss of a child. Whatever hurt or hardships you've experienced, I'm sure you wouldn't have signed up for it. You feel compassion, concern, and grieve with those who experience various trials in this life, but you sure don't want to join them so you can empathize with them.
But troubles come....
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart;
I have overcome the world. John 16:33
And we cannot walk around in fear with the "what if's" of life believing we have some kind of control to prepare us. Fear robs your life of joy and peace.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear;
but ye have received the Spirit of adoption,
whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from
ALL my fears. Psalm 34:4
There is great opportunity in the trials of this life. Will we choose to grow bitter, stuck forever in the asking of "why", or will we choose to cling to Christ and trust Him? Many people say they can't wait to get to heaven to get all their questions answered. I'm not sure just because we get to heaven the Lord of Lords is required to give us any answers. My heart even trembles now thinking that I would consider that He owes me, a pitiful sinner saved alone by His great grace and mercy, any explanations! I also think that we are going to be so overwhelmed by His great mercy, love, and splendor that we are not going to care one iota about our trials. Are we going to choose to get bitter or better? Not necessarily will our situation improve, but will we allow the Holy Spirit to make us better by allowing Him to heal our brokenness? Will we allow Him, our Healer, to work through cracked pots such as ourselves in order that His light may shine forth? Does this mean that everything turns out well? Absolutely not. I still pray I have a long life ahead of me. I choose to continue to hope, plan, dream, and live accordingly. I want to live! But if I don't, I want to choose to live my last days as happy and joyous as possible. Why would my children want to cling to Christ if they see me moping about, worrying, stressing everyday about tomorrow? I want them to see Hope through me.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory
of this mystery among the Gentiles;
of this mystery among the Gentiles;
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. I Col 1:27
I am not saying there may not be times of sadness or sorrow. What I am saying is we don't dwell there forever. What "group" have you become a part of in this fallen world that you never would have signed up for? Divorced? Widowed? Child with special needs or illness? Natural catastrophe? Infertility? Financial loss or ruin? Infidelity? Wayward children? You know what situation or situations it may be for you. When you first experience this trouble, you don't even care that this gives you opportunities now to help others. But later, you hopefully do. You are now on a mission field not of your own choosing. How will you represent Christ to the world that is watching? I promise you that the world is watching. For me, I choose to tell of Christ's great love and mercy towards my family and I while walking this difficulty. I choose to allow His love be on display wherever I go. Today while buying ostomy supplies for the first time I had an opportunity to moan about what an awful lot in life I've now been given. However, I decided to tell the sales person about how great a God I serve despite the road He has me traveling. Will it always be easy? Nope...next week I start back on a more difficult chemo treatment than before while continuing to balance the life of a large family, home schooling, trying to get my skin healed up around my ostomy that continues to break down, hoping to make this a great summer for my family despite me, and totally trusting the Lord for our finances since I'm no longer a source of income for our family. It will always be a daily choice. Will I choose to cling to Christ and His peace in this trial or will I choose to live in fear and despair? I choose Christ. I don't do this because I am more spiritual or holier than anyone else. I do this because I have no choice. I agree with Peter in John 6:68, where else would I turn? Jesus Christ alone has the words of eternal life. Whatever assignment you've been given, I pray you choose to seek Christ and find that He is more than enough to meet your every need. Then I pray you will look for opportunities to share the Truth that you have found with a lost and dying world that is right outside your front door.
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you,
that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:
therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
That thou mayest love the Lord thy God,
and that thou mayest obey his voice,
and that thou mayest cleave unto him:
for he is thy life, and the length of thy days.