None of us can come to the highest maturity
without enduring the summer heat of trials.
—Charles H. Spurgeon
Today I’m sharing a great article from the Bible Gateway blog. I think this is something we can all relate to.
By Craig Groeschel
“I want to believe God cares about me; I really do,” she told me, wiping tears from under her darkened, bloodshot eyes. Under the harsh fluorescent lights of the hospital corridor, Marci barely resembled the vibrant girl I remembered, that kid I’d watched grow up in our youth group at church. When she was a teenager, Marci was outgoing, fun-loving, and full of life, even as she was growing more and more serious about her faith, coming early to youth group and staying late. No one loved to worship and talk about God more than Marci.
Then, in her early 20s, Marci met Mark, a great Christian guy with a charismatic personality. They fell in love practically overnight, marrying almost a year to the day after they met. Mark’s dynamic personality served him well, helping him land a great sales job. Before long, he was making more money than most other professionals his age. They bought their dream home, and as Mark and Marci served God together at our church, they just knew life couldn’t get any better.
But then it did.
After just two months of trying, they learned they were pregnant with their first child. When beautiful little Chloe was born, my wife, Amy, and I joined Mark and Marci at the hospital to thank God for his blessings. Celebrating with them was amazing, all of us thanking God for this wonderful family that he was growing in his presence.
Back then, none of us could see even a hint of cracks around the foundation of their lives. But as the years ticked by, Mark’s job had him working longer and longer hours and required ever more frequent travel. Even so, when he came home one day and informed Marci that he was leaving her—for one of her closest friends—she never saw it coming. Devastated, Marci found herself battling on two fronts, coping on the one hand with Mark’s betrayal and struggling on the other as a single mom trying to build a new life for herself and Chloe. She took small comfort in thinking that at least things couldn’t get any worse.
Until they did.
Today I’d like to share a blog post by Cyndi Lu Moon. I read this while on a blogging hiatus several years ago and it made such an impact on me right there in those circumstances that I knew I had to share it with you. I can no longer find Cyndi’s site so perhaps she has retired from blogging. Nevertheless, I know you will appreciate what she wrote as much as I do.
By Cyndi Lu Moon
Have you walked away from God’s blessing? Of course, we say, “No way, why would we do something like that?” At some point in our lives, our human selves rebel and let God know that we don’t like how he’s handled our trial. What if God is blessing you in the trial and spiritually preparing you for something greater?
Sometimes, I want to run away from my blessing, because it’s disguised as a trial.
The word blessing in itself, sounds peaceful and loving, and many times is associated with love and joy. In truth, blessings don’t always feel good. God has blessed me many times, and let me tell you, some of them hurt.
We are all blessed one way or another and it comes in different shapes and sizes. I hear from different people how they feel blessed to have running water, or how blessed they are with many friends.
Our blessings are unique to our lives. Yes, friends and running water are definite blessings, but have you ever thought about the painful blessings? BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE?
This is a loaded blessing that can sometimes sting, and leave you licking your wounds for days, or sometimes weeks, or longer. Ask God to reveal to you a past blessing in disguise. It could be that your significant other ended your relationship and broke your heart, only for you to find your true love, one year later. It could be that your spouse lost their job, only to be offered a better one.
Blessings don’t always feel good in the beginning, but keep faith, God will reveal to you his plans and reasons at a later day.
WE COULD ALL USE A DOSE OF HOPE!
What hard time in your life, actually ended up being a blessing in disguise?
Remember your promise to me;
it is my only hope.
Your promise revives me;
it comforts me in all my troubles.
by Rachel Wojo
Christmas carols fill the air; smiles and laughter are everywhere. A stroll through town reveals glistening windows boasting of tasty holiday treats and shiny red ribbon. Twinkling lights dance in unexpected places and bounce off sparkling trees. Whether you appreciate lots of gold and glitter or simple candles, the blessing of our Lord’s birth is celebrated with expression!
While Christmas is full of joy and celebration, the world is not exempt from sorrow during this season. For many of us, our hurting hearts experience intensified ache as memories flood our minds. Perhaps the memory is of a loved one now in heaven. Maybe the memory haunts as part of a painful past; something we wish could be changed or undone. Pain not only exists from the past, but in the daily present. Discouragement doesn’t stop lurking. Disease doesn’t stop waging its war. Death doesn’t pause for a few days.
When Jesus was born, His parents didn’t plan a gender reveal party. No one ordered a baby shower cake. Oh, Mary, yes, as the mother, she prepared for the arrival of her baby. But a business trip for tax purposes was probably the last thing on her agenda. Riding a donkey most likely would have been her last wish in her ninth month of pregnancy. The point is: Jesus wasn’t born into ideal circumstances. Despite the stable which most of us would deem unsuitable accommodations, the Light of the World made His grand entrance in the form of a little baby. Human flesh held the Son of God and the glory of the night could not be contained. Angels sang their glory to God and hope, true Hope for the world was born!
Read the rest here.
Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles
are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen,
since what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.
—2 Corinthians 4:16-18