All week, I’ve felt so strongly, the nudging of the Holy Spirit telling me to pause from telling stories and create a post filled with encouragement. There are more than a few of you who are living out the in-between years right now and need to hear you are going to make it…out of that pit, out of bondage, out of that addiction, out of trouble or whatever it is that has your knees buckling and your nose familiar with the floor. I can’t tell you when, but I can tell you that our God is faithful to move you out of the in-between.
On my end, I can’t tell you how difficult it’s been sharing the hard portions of my story with you, then reading your tender, empathetic responses. Several of you have implored me to, “get to the good parts”. In a small way, I have to laugh. I totally get it! I want you to hear the best parts of my story too! Some of you sound suspiciously like me. You skip ahead when reading a book, looking for assurance that the story ends well. Occasionally, a movie comes out that looks especially good yet intensely sad in the previews, so before I plunk down hard-earned money to watch it, I’ll ask a friend who’s seen it, “Don’t give anything away, but is the ending a good one?” You too?
It’s human nature to long for and look forward to the “good parts” of life. After all, that’s the way we were wired. God designed us for good. But I believe we’re also drawn to stories where good triumphs over evil, hardships count towards something yet to come, and where slogging through the quagmire, or desert, or sea of pain produces something unexpected ~ something beautiful to behold in the end.
Stories like that? They take time…and we live in a world where fast isn’t fast enough and instantaneous is more our speed. Want to know the answer to something? Just Google it. Need a quick meal? Pop a frozen something-or-other in the microwave. Short on cash? Simply apply for a “quick loan”. In fact, one of the major consequences of living in the 21st century is that we want resolve and we want. it. now! The result? We want to bypass process, especially if it means staying comfortable.
I’m going to say something that might not sound so encouraging…but hang with me. God isn’t interested in our comfort (as in, fat and happy, plushy comfort). He’s interested in our growth. And growth is a process. If we allow them, and trust God’s process for us, these seemingly impenetrable hard in-between years become valuable lessons learned only in the Refiner’s fire.
You probably already know this, but our loving heavenly Father will do or allow anything (as in anything) that moves us closer to the goal of the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ (Phil.3:14). Admittedly, while there are seasons when it feels like we won’t make it, and it hurts like the dickens, rest assured sweet thing, that God sifts every situation, every hardship, every tragedy through his fingertips before weaving them into the fabric of your story. And if there is anything that won’t bring glory to Him or result in His purposes for you, He will not allow it.
You friend, yes YOU. You’re going to make it. How do I know?
You will never know a day that God doesn’t love you.
Here are just of few of my favorite scriptures that have encouraged me:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave or forsake you.” Deut. 31:6
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Rom.8:28
“‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jer.29:11
“I will bring the blind by a way they did not know;I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them and not forsake them.” Is. 42:16
“I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.” Ps.40:1
“Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” Micah7:8
What’s one of YOUR favorite scriptures?
“Seasons of Gray” (DVD Rated PG-13) is a modern day story of Joseph and I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to do this particular giveaway. My church played it on a movie night and it is fantastic! All you have to do to be entered to win is to leave your favorite scripture in the comment section. That’s all. Easy peasy. (Winner announced next week.)
Has this series helped and encouraged you? If so, would you be so kind as to share it on social media within your sphere of influence? Here are some ways you can share:
*LIKE this post on my FB page (the more Likes, the more FB shares) https://www.facebook.com/caryn.j.christensen
*Share this post on your wall on FB
*Tweet about this post and include @st8oftheheart