A Better Gift

It’s been a while since I posted anything here, mostly because the “relaxing rhythms of summer” haven’t been so relaxing, and I have been directing my writing hours to a study of the epistles of John which I will be teaching at church beginning—yesterday (!). I did find time, though, to write this piece for enCourage.

A little less than six years ago I wrote a post announcing that, in the midst of a difficult providence, I would be a Grandmother sooner than I expected. I could no more guess how the story would unfold than I could walk to the moon. What I did know, and what I clung to with all my weakness and trembling fearfulness, is that God is good. All the time.

Today I am blessed to share the rest of the story. Rather, the next unfolding of God’s providence in the story. There is more to come, no doubt.

In sharing this I do not mean to imply that the good which God works out of trials for his children always end in ways that, on the surface, match our definition of “good.” This is only one of innumerable stories God is working out for his beloved children, and they don’t all have storybook-happy endings. Many of our brothers and sisters will see their prayers answered and rejoice in relationships and situations restored in this life. Many, however, won’t find their restoration until they reach heaven, where every tear will be wiped away by our Lord himself.

In God’s good and wise plan for us, we may be called to trust him even without the hoped-for answer to our prayers. Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, when Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them into the furnace for refusing to bow to his idol, we may be called to continue trusting even if God does not deliver us from our trial. Their words give me pause:

… our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But if not, . . . we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image” (Daniel 3:17-18, emphasis mine).

Oh, may the Lord grant us such courageous faith in our times of need!

Keep praying. Keep hoping. Keep trusting. Keep clinging to Christ. Keep yourself in the Word. Don’t isolate yourself, but as far as you are able, keep in fellowship with other believers who will speak truth to you. (Fellow believers, listen up: keep checking in with and speaking truth to your trial-weary brethren!)

And so, the rest of the story: He Does All Things Well.

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