As servants of Christ, our times are in His hands. I am overwhelmingly grateful to God for His hand on my life, that He engineers every circumstance in my life, both good and what appears as not so good, to be a cause for praise to His name and His purposes of love.
Many times God brings me through things I don’t understand, but I know that He “sees the big picture”, and is faithful to bring me through it in His way and in His timing. I’m grateful He never leaves us on our own to figure things out. For this very reason, I never want to put myself in front of my circumstances and try to be God in my life saying, “I will watch this thing closely, or protect myself from that.” He calls us to intercessory prayer through giving us everyday circumstances and people to bring before His throne, to allow the Spirit in us the opportunity to intercede for them, that He might reach out and touch a hurting world with His lovingkindness and healing.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
I am also grateful that at times, we are deemed worthy enough to partake in Jesus’ sufferings. He will take us through experiences that actually were not meant for us at all, but to shape us to make us useful to Him, and to help us have a deeper understanding of what others go through in their lives. If someone is hurting, there is nothing like talking to someone else who has “been there”, no?
We have that tendency to want to solve the problem our own way, to add our own “shortcut” that makes sense to us, perhaps because we want to know God’s purposes beforehand so that we do not have to go through the way of suffering, or at least shorten the duration of it. Oswald Chambers said, “Are we partakers of Christ’s sufferings? Are we prepared for God to stamp out our personal ambitions? Are we prepared for God to destroy our individual decisions by supernaturally transforming them?” I never want to turn away from something or someone thinking, “Oh, I can’t deal with this thing or that person.” Really? Why not? Has He not given me access to wisdom through His Word and by personal contact with Him to deal with these circumstances? Did He not say that He would never abandon me?
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not despairing, persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed, always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
II Corinthians 4: 7-11
I am grateful for every situation in my life, because I know that Jesus has given me those opportunities to be a clear conduit for His love, His messages to those He brings into my path. And I know that because of His promises, He will complete His work in me and in the world, even though my finite mind cannot perceive His direction a lot of the time. And finally, I am thankful that He chose me. I choose to focus on His love, knowing that my Heavenly Daddy wants to be with me and bless others through my life.