1 Peter 1:6-7 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
It has been a while since I have been able to post. Truthfully, I haven’t been motivated to; instead, I have allowed myself to be consumed with my daily problems. You see, almost two weeks ago, my father had to undergo emergency open heart surgery – a quadruple bypass, to be exact. Praise, honor and glory to God, all went extremely well; then, the tough work began – my father realizing the repercussions of his previous lifestyle choices and recognizing recovery would require more than just healing – it would require change.
Medications, diet (dad was diagnosed as a diabetic after surgery), and exercise have become the topics among my family concerning my father. It’s been frustrating. It’s been exhausting. It’s been depressing. Now, you would think, as someone who loves the Word of the Lord, I would have been camped out there for the past couple of weeks searching for His guidance in this situation. But, sadly, no. Instead, I’ve tried to solve things myself – so much so, I have physically worn myself out. Today, God said, “enough was enough.”
This afternoon, I finally took the time to sit down and read His Word – to really “be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10). As a result, the faithfulness of His magnificent Presence began to show. I started reading in the book of Psalms, meditating on the word’s David wrote thousands of years ago – “we wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You” (Psalm 33:20-22) I kept telling God, yes, I know You are my strength. Yes, I trust in You. But God, I’m overwhelmed, and quite honestly, I feel angry over these problems I am having to face. That was when the gentleness of the Holy Spirit prompted me to pick up one of my favorite daily devotional books, Jesus Calling. At first, I was headed to today’s date, but something stopped me as I was flipping through the pages. The words written were “make friends with the problems in your life.” I read that sentence over and over. I kept reading as the author wrote “every problem can teach you something, transforming you little by little into the masterpiece I (God) created you to be.” Make friends with my problems – but God, what does that look like? He answered.
Embrace your problems as you would your friends. Know that I have allowed these problems to come into your life for a reason. Don’t allow the problems to frustrate you. Allow them to focus your eyes on me. Also, don’t let the problems exhaust you. Your friends don’t exhaust you, they rejuvenate you. If you trust me, allow me to guide you through this. I will get you to the other side, and you will experience My presence and the amazing exhilaration of walking alongside Me. Remember, though, you must turn to Me alone. Trust that I will lead you to where I want you to go. Finally, I know the problems you face can be depressing – acknowledge the sadness that accompanies living in a fallen world, but don’t let it overcome you. For I have overcome the world, and one day you will experience the joy that comes from resting in that hope.
Peter, the rock in which Christ built His church (Matthew 16:18), knew first-hand the power that comes as a result of making friends with your problems. He wrote, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6-7). I don’t know what problems you are facing today – we all have them, and they certainly come in all kinds of trials – but, rest in knowing our Father desperately wants to hold your hand through them. I have learned, sometimes, prayers aren’t enough when your problems seem insurmountable. Sometimes, you must plant yourself at His feet and be transparent with what you are feeling – anger, resentment, bitterness, sadness – He can handle it. Find peace, as I have today, in knowing once you allow Him to take over, the load will feel lighter, the end of the tunnel will be closer, and true transformation will take place.
Until next time, readjusting my eyes on Him… Katie