I often think of my life like a story God is writing…and so is yours. And to be honest, some parts of the story I don’t really like.
If it were up to me, I would have written some of it differently. My second child would not have died, and I would have a daughter who would be 26 years old this year.
As for my friends’ stories, I would have tweaked them too. Carol’s son would not be in prison. Linda’s 20-year-old daughter would not be a quadriplegic. Barbara’s daughter would not be bipolar. Patty’s 21-year-old daughter would not have died in a car accident. Jennifer’s husband would not have died of a brain tumor. If I had been writing the story.
But I’m so glad I’m not the author of those stories. Each and every one of those friends has ministries that impact thousands upon thousands of women all over the world. God has turned their pain into purpose, the misery into ministry, and their devastation into anointed messages of hope and restoration.
Sudden glory fills and spills from each of these women’s lives. Their love journeys of living and moving and having their being in Christ have led them through dark valleys and back out into the light on the other side. They practically glow with radiant wonder.
Here’s what I’ve learned about the hard parts of my story: Difficult times are pregnant with glory moments just waiting to be birthed in the lives of those willing to labor through the pain. The key is to not allow bitterness and anger to make our hearts infertile to God’s gifts.
One way to avoid the darkening of the soul is by constant communication seasoned with thanksgiving—a continual acknowledgement of His presence.
Glory moments in difficult times are not dependent on our circumstances, but on our focus.
Focus on the difficulty and God is difficult to see. Focus on God and glory seeps through the broken places.
After my husband and I got out of college, we moved to Charlotte so that my husband could go into practice with another doctor. But after we moved here, the doctor changed his mind.
“Sorry, Steve. I changed my mind. Good luck, son.” the doctor said.
I was so upset. OK, I was angry. Flat out angry. Angry with the doctor and angry with God. We had no money. No job. And school debt.
Three months later a situation opened up that was far better than our original plan. It was Ephesians 3:20 in lab-coat white: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”
Well, why didn’t God do that in the first place? Why didn’t He lead us to that second opportunity when we did all that praying and seeking? He could have. But He is far more interested in developing our character than doling out a life of comfort and ease.
C.S. Lewis notes: “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable. Think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”
We are ever the students. He is the teacher still.
Someone once said, “Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” Oh that we would trust Him even if the twists and turns never make sense this side of heaven. That’s what trusting God is all about. As we live and move and have our being in Him, the dark places are simply opportunities to trust that He knows the way—and the perfect time to hold on tight.
So here’s the question: will you trust God to write your story?
How do you trust God in tough times? It comes by having a consistent daily walk with God…as you live and move and have your being in Him. The more you know Him, the more you trust Him. If you would like to experience God in the midst of your difficulties as well as your victories, then A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More will help you get there. Click here to download a free chapter and watch a video book trailer.
CONGRATULATIONS TO LINDA NEELY, the winner of a free copy of A Sudden Glory from the blog comments on a recent post.