Hello my friends. My ponderings this week were not hard to come by. They were all about holding on in the midst of difficulties. Each one of us (hubby, son, and moi') had a tough week with one or two trials each.
I think I was in my thirties before I realized a problem free life is impossible on this earth. Before that, I'd be surprised at another trial coming my way and I longed for the day when all the events of my life would be chaos free. I should have been paying more attention to the book of James and not have been surprised when various trials come my way. :)
There are many ways I have learned to get through these times, especially since the diabetes affected the amount of chocolate I could eat when stressed. Spending time just reading through the Psalms gives me strength. Looking back on my life when God has met every need and "made straight my path" helps a great deal.
Thinking ahead to the day when we are no longer in the Shadowlands but live where we will find Perfection... it gives me hope. I have Scrabble letters on their base sitting on top of my vintage bread box. Right now the letters spell out the word... H O P E. (I love that idea, found on blogs of people much more creative than me.)
There are other scriptures that bring me peace. I read through the 11th Chapter of Hebrews... what is often called The Faith Chapter... and find inspiration from those who walked before me, the ancients who also knew great trials. One aspect of this chapter I find comforting, it is so real. For those who overcame their trials on this earth are honored but so are those who never saw the realization of what they hoped for in this life... those who longed for God to deliver them but it would appear they received no relief.
Those who died in the faith, who gave up their lives before seeing the Promise... they are given the same amount of "glory" as those who did receive what they were looking for on this side of Eternity. What does that tell us? As in the book of James, we are shown how we walk through our trials on this planet is continued when we get beyond the Shadowlands and into the Reality of that City whose architect and builder is God, Himself. Life is... continued... and hanging on while keeping in faith is what God rewards.
Another section of Scripture I love, that is rather unusual but I read through it at least a couple times a year... the first few chapters of Revelation. What does God reward? What kind of life does He consider faithful? We are told in the Letters to the Churches... including the fact that it is "those who overcome" who receive His rewards. Perseverance, not perfectly... but the fact that they "kept on keeping on".
I would much prefer to have a life with no reason to hold on in the midst of fiery darts and trials. I would prefer health, prosperity, cars that don't break down, houses that don't need repairs, easy relationships, every need met, a life with no disappointments, respect instead of put downs, and a Nation that gives me hope for the future instead of fear.
However, if that were true then I never would have to have the Word become Real. If I didn't have to ask Him for the necessary provision, whether financial or health... if I didn't need to ask Him to heal relationships, make straight the crooked path, or bring courage where there is fear... then I wouldn't know (as in Job) Him personally. I would have heard of Him but now I know Him.
As I have told my husband so many times (when he feels he can't accomplish much for the Church, anymore)... sometimes our attitude is all we can lay at His feet. "As for me and my house, we will choose the Lord. "(Joshua 24:15) We live in an age where lukewarm is not good enough.
I'm very thankful that His mercies are new every morning. I often ask myself if I can get through "just this day" and the answer is always "yes". Tomorrow may look uncertain and the months ahead lay in a fog... but I have enough strength for today. It seems that is the way He made us... for like manna of old, yesterday's Grace is not enough for today.