When God calls us to something, should we anticipate complete tranquility and peace of mind, or should we anticipate opposition, warfare, and peace that will and must surpass our understanding?
It is beyond my knowledge what God holds for me. But if I knew, would I then be holding my own life, or would He?
Do I question what is right, because it doesn’t feel right? Yet, it doesn’t feel right because I face opposition. Isn’t opposition a sign that one is living on the battlefield rather than in the dugouts or on the sidelines?
Then… in all of this GRACE brings me back to my knees, the cycle repeats itself, and I realize, this IS God’s will.
I live with chronic illness, and I earnestly desire for God to heal me… but if He doesn’t give me a physical healing, will I trust that He is all that I need?
I struggle with my pride… hugely. I don’t like being weak and fragile, but God’s Word says that His strength is perfected in my weakness.
At times, the trials are overwhelming. The physical pain is unrelenting… and I wonder,
Will anything good come from this storm?
I’ve seen a tree that has been beaten by the wind.
In a single storm, it is instantly stripped of all its foliage.
The fragile branches snap, falling to the ground.
A moment later, they are blown away.
Gone… just like that.
I wonder at that tree, as it seemingly has lost its purpose.
The birds have taken refuge in new places.
The tree is no longer able to provide shade.
The garden it covered becomes scorched by the sun.
The fruit has been thrown as far as the wind could take it.
Then I ponder what value that tree has.
But as I gave thought to it…
It (the tree) does not control the elements surrounding it.
It has only to do its job before its maker.
It grows… It offers what it can… It bears fruit.
What happens to the tree is not its choice.
As I ponder further and look beyond the tree…
I see birds sweeping down and picking up the broken twigs and small branches.
They scurry away to build their nests.
I see the fruit become the source of nourishment for even more of God’s creations.
I see a dried out fruit seed left laying there in the sun…
It’s outer coating appears dead and cracked.
It seems as if all that this tree lived to produce will be dead and wasted.
Then I am reminded of the miracles of the Lord, and His grace made manifest!
How as that seeds outer coating dies, it’s holding with in itself an embryo…
The embryo turns into a seedling and having reseeded, it begins to sprout…
Years later, someone else may sit by that sprout that became a seemingly unshakeable tree and wonder at the storm that came and shook it bare.
For that battered tree, all of God’s grace was there for the taking!
But oh the sweet fruit that was born from the tree that was shaken!
What God chooses to do with my life is not mine to fret over. God has called me to worship Him… to live for Him… and to drown in His sovereign, rich, all-sufficient, all-abundant, Glorious Grace…
“Consider it all (pure) joy my brethren when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.”
~ James 1:2-3
Like that tree, stripped by the wind…
God has taken away that which I perceive is my “EVERYTHING” so that I can actually be “LACKING IN NOTHING”…
THIS is pure grace.
This IS the GOOD that comes from the storm.
I am learning that GRACE in every situation is a GIFT from God….A God given ability to have just a glimpse of His love, His care, and even His broken heart, that we would otherwise not have been able to experience that day. Favor unmerited, to choose us to experience the hardships of life that eventually bring us to a place of seeing His Miracles in our lives. That is truly a magnificent gift. He doesn’t just want to redeem us…He seeks daily to open our eyes to His dealing with mankind by pouring out the Grace…the Grace of trials and testings (supposed to be our friends right?). The things GREAT FAITH is made of… The things that give us window peep holes into the heart of God… The things that cause us to be stretched and molded to be more like him. Whoa!!!! If that is not ‘unmerited favor’!! (Last paragraph by Debbie Chiarelli – we were in deep convo.)
“Every good thing bestowed, and every perfect gift come down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” ~ James 1:17
I thank and praise my grace giving God… the Giver of ALL good things!
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
May you know and feel the love of Jesus in your lives today. You are so treasured and valued. You are precious and worth much.
Many Blessings and Much Love,
Amie Joy (reyajoy)
Written By: Amie Joy Chiarelli-Wylie
Image courtesy of “Vingate Landscape On Old Paper” by kanate/freedigitalphotos.net