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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happily Ever After

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.


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!"


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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Blogger I am blessed! said...

What a great devotion! It's frustrating how many Christians think that God is primarily concerned with our health and ease of life. I'm always amazed that the Bible tells us we were called to suffer. It's part of our purpose. Also, all the Jesus' disciples, but one (John), were martyred. It's not something most Western Christians think about today, but suffering is, as you said so well, a major part of our lives. He is primarily concerned about my holiness, not my happiness. But if I can remember your poem and know that in the midst of suffering He's making me holy, then I will be able to suffer well.

October 24, 2009 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Pttyann said...

"Whooooooooooooohooooooooo!!!!!! What a word,what a word, simply "Wonderful"!!! Amen,amen Love your post(it's got Lori at the top & Darnelle at the bottom umm) O well I truly enjoyed this and I will have my friend read. Thanks for sharing
Love you

October 24, 2009 at 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adore the poem and love this encouraging post! I really needed to read Romans 8:18. Thank you!

October 24, 2009 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

I really enjoyed this, bless you.

October 25, 2009 at 1:24 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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