I know God puts us through the ringers for a reason, but He never said we had to do it alone which is why I'm so so so incredibly grateful for my amazing friends, most especially my girls. You ladies have been a source of encouragement, guidance, support, and joy to me. No matter how much the troubles of this world can get me down, all I have to do is call or text you and there you are. I couldn't be more thankful for God blessing me with your friendship, loyalty, and care. I wish my vocabulary was more diverse so I could fully describe the amazing attributes you ladies have that always minister to me in so many ways, but unfortunately I didn't major in English and my memory of Mr. Z's readarounds has kinda faded out a little bit. ;)
As I think about the fires that happen in California yearly it makes me think about why God allows such devastation to occur so frequently, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I guess the tree-huggers out there could say, "Those trees are innocent!" or whatever but I honestly don't believe that plants or vegetation of any kind have souls so there isn't guilt when a tree is cut down or anything like that. In my opinion, all of creation is under the will of the Lord. He gives and takes away life as He sees fit. Some might say it's not fair but who are we to judge God? Who are we to say, "I know what's best and what's fair"? The more I seek the Lord on these things the more I find that I really don't know diddlysquat.
Everything that's happened in my life, good and bad, hard and easy, has been for a reason. That ultimate reason is to bring me closer to my God, physically and spiritually. For the first time in my adult life I felt inner turmoil commence inside of my body. Literally, I felt like half of my body had inexplicable peace while the other was up in a tizzy fighting and complaining like the children of Israel did wandering in the wilderness. I think a lot of us don't really know what it's like to experience spiritual warfare firsthand. Let me tell you it was not pleasant. And it's still a struggle at times.
I can't blame God for my faults or for the fact that I still may have battles going on inside my heart and body. We as Christians can get so caught up in everything else around us, jobs, kids, friends, hobbies, and ministry work even that we forget that there's a constant battle going on for our souls at this very moment. There's a reason why God never sleeps (not that He needs it, to be sure).
I guess what I'm trying to get at here, even though I think I might have run on a bit of a tangent is that even though there may be a huge dark cloud forming around us we who have that eternal assurance can be confident that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). I can take joy that even though there may still be a dark cloud over my head that my silver lining is this: Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, loves me; totally and completely loves me. He never ceases to make intercession for me even on days where I hardly ever give Him a second thought. By the sinews in His wrists, as the weight of His body was straining every muscle and ligament, as each of His organs began to fail, He took my grief, my pain, my heartache and all the horrible things I've ever thought of, wished upon, and ultimately done in my life on Himself. And He did it with love.
And I complain about how unfair life can be. I have NOTHING to complain about. Forgive my foolishness, Lord. I trade in a silly and tarnished silver lining for everlasting joy and grace.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1