I was just reading some heart-rending revelations from one of my dearest facebook friends, and it has left me feeling a bit perplexed. This precious friend has endured some of the most severe trials a human being can ever experience on this earth, and yet she lives to give praise and glory to God and to encourage others in their walk of faith. How does she do it? What has made the difference in her life so that she can be such a sweet fragrance to God and to her fellow man?
Who among us has not had sorrows and tribulations and pain in this life? The truth is, whether or not we have yet gone through disturbing trials, sickness, disappointments or pain, sooner or later we will. No one escapes this life without some measure of difficulty.
I don't mean to be a pessimist or prophet of doom, but just a realist. No one escapes this life without first dying. Whether or not that death is peaceful or painful, we really can't predict or plan. It is all in God's hands.
So, how do we deal with this fact? How do we handle the trials and heartaches that come our way? We have two choices as far as I can see...
- We can choose to go through our tribulations kicking and screaming, cussing and fighting.
- Or, we can choose to go through our tribulations blessing and forgiving, trusting and praying.
I can hear some of you saying, "Are you crazy? You obviously haven't been through what I've been through or you could never suggest such a thing..."
No, I probably haven't suffered as much as many...I have led a very blessed life...and yet...there have been things that could have very easily destroyed my life, my faith, and my hope. There have been things that most of you don't know about (and I hope you never do) that I have had to walk through...and I had (and still have in some cases) lots of questions, doubts, and fears...I've asked God, WHY? many times.
"For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." 2Corinthians 2:15
As I see it...we have a choice...we can be a sweet savour, or the fragrance of Christ to God and to His kingdom here on earth...or we can become a putrid stench in God's nostrils (and the world's). Which attitude leads to abundant life...both for myself and for those around me?
This is what I come back to after all the disappointments and heartaches and sorrows are sorted and categorized and pored over...
"To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause." (Psalm 25:1-3) (This is what God's Word says...so it is ok to feel this way I guess)
This is what I pray...Psalm 25:4-5 ~
- Show me Your ways, O Lord
- Teach me Your paths.
- Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For YOU are the God of my salvation;
- On You I wait all the day.