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Friday, October 24, 2008

Happily Ever After - THE END


Predictable happy endings, walking off into the sunset, happily ever after etc., etc. That's what I like. Not so much the mushy emotional stuff (I'm a little left-brained) just the predictable, every-situation-gets-solved, no loose ends, explanations-all-around kind of scenario - ta da! THE END.

When I was introduced to Jesus and the "Christian Walk", I naturally believed that, "This, now, finally, will be the beginning of eternal bliss, predictability, no problems, sunsets, and happily ever afters - batteries included!" (Who knows that I needed just a little discipling?)
Yes, into every new believer's life some rain must fall, and all of the silver linings come equipped with dark clouds, and (quoting my friend Jeff,) "What don't kill ya, makes ya stronger!"

I remember, after trying to walk with Christ for a few months, I kind of started wishing I'd never heard about Him, salvation OR eternity. It was just hard. All these "trials" (as they were now called) popping up everywhere. . . "letting go and letting God" . . . trusting someone you can't see . . . putting your life in the hands of another. Giving up control of your life is NOT easy - especially if you're not yet certain about the motives of the Person to whom you are relinquishing control. And then, the icing on the cake - learn to be happy about the "trials!"

Consider it all joy my brethren, when you encounter various trials. (James 1:2)


Joy. Really.

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials. (1 Peter 1:6)


If necessary?

The sufferings of this present time. . . (Romans 8:18)


OK, OK, I get it! Suffering, trials, loose ends, and sometimes, not-so-happy endings with no explanations. Got it.


But, as with all things concerning our Creator, it is all for a purpose, as I finally discovered. Nothing is done without perfect wisdom, absolute justice, and unconditional love on His part. Not one situation, large or small, escapes Him. Every bit of the 'heat' He allows in our lives is for a purpose, and as His children, we're wise to learn to trust that. And though no ONE explanation can adequately "explain" the ways of the Lord of the Universe, today I read something that I think comes close. It's from the book, The Fire of God by Joy Dawson - she quotes an anonymous poet:



He sits by a furnace of sevenfold heat
As He watches by the precious ore.
Closer He bends with a searching gaze
As He heats it more and more.
For He knows He has ore that can stand the test
To mold as a crown for the King to wear
So He lays our gold in the burning fire,
Tho' we fain would say to Him "Nay"
And He watches the dross that we could not see,
As it melts and passes away.
The gold grows brighter and brighter it grows,
And our eyes grow dim with tears,
We see but the fire . . . not the Master's hand,
And question with anxious fears.
Yet our gold shines out with a richer glow
As it mirrors a form from above
That bends over the fire tho' unseen by us,
With a look of ineffable love.
Can we think it pleases His loving heart
To cause us a moment's pain?
Ah, no! but He sees through the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.
So He waits there with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure,
And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat
Than was needed to make it pure.


Yep, we can be quite whiny and complaining until we 'get it'. We can become completely absorbed in our own little world - trials AND treasures - until we grasp the fact that the God of all eternity has His ever watchful eye on us - always - and that " God
(actually) causes ALL things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28) Everything He allows, every bit of heat, is meant to purify us, to cleanse us from what we cannot see, to prepare us for an eternity that we can scarcely comprehend, to form us into the image of His Son, Jesus.

Everything.

And then He gives the best promise of all:

"The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us!" (Romans 8:18)


Incredible! When the time comes, the sunset will never dim, every loose-end will be tied, every explanation given and every tear will be wiped away. Now that is a "happily ever after!"

THE END BEGINNING



Father, Your ways are high above our ways, and Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts. I ask you Lord to pour out Your grace and wisdom. Teach us to trust Your ways, Your timing, Your justice. Keep watch at the door of our lips and fill our mouths with Your praise. Give us strength to worship when we are afraid, and courage to trust You in all things. Above all else, fill our hearts with the reality of eternity in Your presence.

In Him,




Visit Darnelle at her personal blog:

All Things Work Together


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22 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

May you be sweetly blessed.

January 10, 2008 at 2:13 AM  
Blogger lori said...

Your fellow left brain, tie it all up before I lay down to sleep, (not mushy endings:))just a nice, neat ~ ta da!! I'm right there with you girl!!

then I read this...
"But, as with all things concerning our Creator, it is all for a purpose, as I finally discovered. Nothing is done without perfect wisdom, absolute justice, and unconditional love on His part. Not one situation, large or small, escapes Him."

WOW! WOW! DOUBLE WOW!!! THAT right there is what sustains me...can't explain it, and often can't understand it...just know that HE has my back and more!!

NOT ONE SITUATION ESCAPES HIM...wow...going in the journal!! Simply what I needed to hear this morning and I love it!!

I'm so glad you are here!!
peace and hugs,
lori

January 10, 2008 at 5:45 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I will try to work harder on the "consider it pure joy" part. Thanks for the reminder.
Smiles!

January 10, 2008 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Amen and amen. Oh, to engrave this truth on our hearts.

And how incredible that He sees the gold potential that we have hidden in our lump of ore.

Thank you for this encouraging word.

January 10, 2008 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

"especially if you're not yet certain about the motives of the Person to whom you are relinquishing control"

THIS, my friend, was my struggle for years - believing the God of the universe was on my side and FOR ME instead of being bent on keeping me whipped and broken.

Oh, I still don't like the heat, but I've learned over the years to trust what He's trying to accomplish - that being His ever-increasing ability to see His beautiful Son in my reflection.

This was a rich, wonderful post Darnelle!!

LOve you !

Lisa

January 10, 2008 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Chris @ Come to the Table said...

Darnelle,
Thank you for sharing today. God is revealing His great love for me over and over through His Word.

I love the quote you shared. I may have to copy this one and put away.

Blessings,
Chris

January 10, 2008 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger windycindy said...

I can identify with your musings today! "Let go and Let God" is something I have been trying to work on for quite some time! As my two sons get older, and I don't have them with me always, I am so trying to let God have complete control and care of them. I appreciate your thoughts today. Thanks,Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

January 10, 2008 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

This was such a beautiful encouragement and reminder about the amazing God we serve! How He loves and does wipe away tears--even now!

January 10, 2008 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Cory said...

This speaks to my heart. Thank you for sharing it. Cory

January 10, 2008 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Darnelle, that was amazing. We are on the same page (you'll see tomorrow) HOW does He do that!!! And to top it off--I have a post coming up Sat. for LWG...and I am "reusing part" of an old one of mine from months ago and I had said "Let go and let God"! Do you think He's trying His best to GET A MESSAGE TO ME?!!!???
Okay, Lord...I got it ....Loud and clear!
Thank you Darnelle, for being used of the Father in such a way as I needed with everything that is going on in our lives!
You blessed me!

January 10, 2008 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Mary Lou said...

Blessings on you for sharing your heart. I feel as though I've been in the fire for the past two years. He has promised me that the fire will not consume me and He has been faithful. I just had to copy the poem off. It spoke directly to my heart. How He watches and knows the exact temperature and when to say enough. What a great God we serve. Mary Lou dlowran1(at)comcast(dot)net

January 10, 2008 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Our Own International Multiples Club said...

Thank you folr the reminder. I am renewing my walk with God and it is so helpful to read that others have had some of the same issues that I am struggling with.

January 10, 2008 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I don't think that God causes all of the bad things in our life, but I do think that he uses them to help us grow if we just search for and listen to Him. He has definitely done this for me over the past year of trials. I just wish I did not have to be refined to become pure!

January 10, 2008 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Darnelle, you nailed the human condition, again!

January 10, 2008 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Living Beyond said...

Fabulous 'real' post thank you foir saying it the way it is and reminding us that we have that "Happily ever after - beginning" I love!!

January 10, 2008 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

The refiner's fire, the heat is intense but so is the love of the craftsman. Thanks for sharing!

January 10, 2008 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Amy B said...

Ha, well... you know that I'm a no frills, get right to the facts, NOW kind of girl so this spoke volumes to me. Can I just read your notebooks, please?

:o)

love you!

January 10, 2008 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger ChristiS said...

yes, yes, yes! I needed this one today too! I'm glad that tomorrow's was posted early cause I needed them together. God will get us through these trials. We can't see the outcome, but HE can! Thank you, Lord, for holding on to us in the fire instead of letting us go, and for keeping us from seeing the pain that we don't need to see and feel!

January 10, 2008 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Such a nice post. I do get "absorbed in my own little world sometimes". It just seems to feel safe there. I know that "God has His watchful eye on us" and I am so thankful for that! Thanks and God Bless!

January 10, 2008 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger Praise and Coffee said...

Love this, thank you!
I love the prayer, "give us the strength to worship when we are afraid" just beautiful.

Blessings,
Sue

January 12, 2008 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Keeping our eyes on heaven is so hard to do in the midst of this world. But, wow, it's crucial. Thanks for this reminder!

January 13, 2008 at 3:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I randomly came across a christian blog the other day that I thought you guys might like. It's at www.understandinglight.blogspot.com

January 15, 2008 at 2:15 PM  

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