There has been a lot going on around us lately. I have sat down to write a post quite a few times this past week, and each time - nothing. Then I realized it's because I have a lot swirling around in my head.
I'm not going to say a lot about it. But what I am going to say, is this:
God is good. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He does not change. He is not surprised when we encounter hardship or persecution. In fact, He told us it would come.
When it does come, we have two choices:
- Run away, and find something else that will make us feel better in the midst of it (denial, addiction, etc.); OR
- Let it come, and let it shape us.
It reminds me of beach glass. What starts as a jagged piece of a broken beer bottle, results in a beautiful, etched, smooth piece of glass after the salt water has had a chance to toss it around for a while. If that piece of glass had been saved from the waters, it would remain sharp and jagged. It would remain an ugly remnant meant for the landfill.
God talks a lot about peace. And he talks a lot about persecution and hard times. Interestingly, when God is involved, both can exist at the same time.
So that's kind of where I'm at. Big things are going on, yet I've been living with a complete sense of peace. Yes, it saddens me. But it is not manifesting in my life as bitterness, anger, or resentment. I sleep well. I feel happy in the day. I don't feel angry when I think about certain people or situations. Instead, I pray.
That is very different from where I used to be. And I'm glad for that.
So I'm going to let myself be tossed around in the salt waters, to let God etch maturity, obedience, and a beautiful story onto my life. I'm going to let him smooth away my rough edges in the midst of this chaos.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God... Since you are precious and honoured in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life... Do not be afraid, for I am with you." (Isaiah 43)