“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”
Have you ever thought about this verse and how it doesn’t just say rejoice in the Lord? It says to rejoice in the Lord always.
The other night, I was in my room again and I was feeling sad. It was Easter and it was another Easter I had to celebrate alone, without him. I saw post after post of all those I know sharing about this being their first Easter together as a couple. It wasn’t long before I found myself thinking about him and crying out to God to comfort me. So I did that Bible thing where you pray for God to bring you the right passage in the Bible and then randomly open up the Bible.
I opened up to a random chapter in Ezekial. I was very skeptical but still decided to give it a read. And nope, it wasn’t very helpful. I tried again and opened up to Psalm 116. This Psalm was actually very encouraging and relatable so spend some time reading it and meditating on it a bit. But what I really needed came after I finished reading in my Bible. I picked up a small book I have full of prayers. My hope is to read one of the prayers in the book each night before going to bed. Well, the prayer that I read was the “Ode to Joy” poem which was made into a familiar hymn. What’s funny is that I instantly felt the urge to not read this prayer. A call to be joyful was the last thing I wanted to read about and I felt the tension in my spirit. But as I read it the conviction began to set in. This prayer was just the reminder I needed that there is always so much I can be joyful in. I want to bed with a prayer to be more joyful in the Lord.
And if that wasn’t enough of a reminder to me, the next morning I read Philippians 4 where Paul tells us to rejoice always. I just have to say here, as I know I’ve said many times before, God is just so good to me in all the ways He reminds me of His goodness.
Here is the truth that I realized; we can rejoice in the Lord always because our God is faithful to us and He is unchanging in all that He does. Our circumstances change, but God never does. If our rejoicing is based on our circumstances it’s impossible for us to always find joy and keep that joy, because our life is always changing. But when our rejoicing is in the Lord, we always have reason to be joyful. We can be joyful because of all that God has done for us and all that God has promised us in His Word.
So today, I’m choosing to be joyful. I’m choosing to rejoice despite my circumstances and this season that seems to have no end. I will rejoice always in my God and I will rejoice in all that God has done for me. I will rejoice in the fact that God has always been with me, is still with me, and has a good plan for all of this in my life.
I was laying in bed last night, drifting off to sleep.
But as I felt my body drifting, I got inspiration and a new idea popped into my head. I don’t know why it is that inspiration always comes to me at the worst times. This is not the first time I have been inspired to write something while trying to fall asleep.
It’s a miracle that when I woke up in the morning I actually still remembered what I was thinking about as I fell asleep. So here I am now, writing about my thoughts that I had late at night.
I fell asleep thinking about how a year ago, when I was on the verge of getting married, I felt like I was so ready for that next step in my life. I had been waiting so long to be married and now it was my turn and I wanted it so bad. But in truth, I was anything but ready, and it was by God’s providence and grace that he didn’t let me take that step into marriage.
Whenever I look back now, I cringe when I think of how blind I was. I was not ready, I can see now and say so confidently now, I was not ready. I was selfishly wanting that next step so bad that it was unhealthy. I was so shattered when I didn’t get it because I had made myself believe that I deserved it.
As I was thinking about this, the thought came into my head about how so much has changed in this year. Now I feel ready, more ready than I was then. I thought, yes, I am ready now. But the minute that thought entered into my head, the dangers of that statement came to my mind at full force.
I realized that to say that I am ready is to say that I know what’s best for me. And to say that I know what’s best for me, is to say that I don’t trust God’s timing and plan for my life. To say that I am ready, is actually a selfish thing to say, because it takes away the fact that I need and depend on God each day. Saying I am ready puts me in the position of demanding things from God and being upset for not having things because when I say I am ready I am saying I deserve certain things now.
There is a quote that I remember from C.S Lewis’ book “Prince Caspian” where Aslan asks young Caspian if he is ready to become king;
“Welcome, Prince,’ said Aslan. ‘Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?’ I – I don’t think I do, Sir,’ said Caspian. ‘I am only a kid.’ Good,’ said Aslan. ‘If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been proof that you were not.”
It is because he is not ready, that he is ready. If Prince Caspian had said he was ready, he would be showing that he had a prideful heart and he would not be open to learning how to be a king. But his humble admitting that he was not ready, showed that he was ready, because he would be able to go into this new role willing to learn and lean into the wisdom of others.
So the reality is, to say we are ready, is not a wise thing to say. Yes, there will be times when we must prepare ourselves for something and we will be more ready than we were before for the task we are called to. But the minute we say we are ready and we have no more need to work or wait, we take a prideful selfish stance.
Saying we are not ready, is evidence of a heart that is seeking to lean on God and trust in God’s timing and in God’s way. Saying we aren’t ready, is the humble response God calls all of us to take so that our great God, can then come and be our strength and meet us in the places where we need His help.
So today, I am saying that now, after a year, I am not ready. I am not ready for the next step. I am not ready because I know how much I need God to strengthen me and lead me. And whenever God does bring the thing I desire most into my life, I will have to lean on Him for help and guidance. Because the minute I say I am ready, I am not ready.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Driving back home after a fun and full day, my eye’s just about welled up with tears.
My heart felt like it was about to burst with sweet feelings of joy and thankfulness to God. For so long, I’ve waited and prayed. For so long I’ve asked God for friends and company on this lonely walk and driving home, the realization hit me, God heard me. And I am literally in the process of watching God is answering my prayers! This day is proof of that!
But, let me start back at the beginning.
A year ago I felt so alone. I ended my engagement with my fiance, my best friend of five years, after learning he had been lying to me. I then moved with my family to a new town, four hours away from the place that had become my home. I knew God was directing my steps as I made these decisions, but what I was not anticipating, was the fact that this would propel me into a long season of loneliness as my hurting heart healed.
Soon after moving, two things were at war inside me. I was anxious to find a community and meet new people but also scared to really open up and tell people about my past. So I prayed. I prayed that God would bring people into my life, new friends to start making new memories with. I was tired of being lonely for so long but reaching out and making new friends in a new area is not a skill God has blessed me with.
I attend an amazing church with my family that is solid on the scriptures and has helped my growth in the Lord so much, but the church does not have many other young adults my age which didn’t help me in my struggle of feeling lonely and longing for community.
Weeks turned into months, Summer came and was over before I knew it. I packed my summer so full of serving and traveling that I had no time to really feel lonely. But after Summer I was again back on my knees, praying to God, asking him for a friend. I prayed but when God said nothing, I still got up each day and kept going, not knowing when or how God would answer my prayer. And let me tell you all, it can be so hard and discouraging when you pray so hard for something you want and know is good, but God doesn’t seem to be doing anything.
But suddenly, just in these last few weeks, God has been working! The first thing God did was bring my sister back into my life. She moved back in with the family during the Holiday season and it has truly been an answer to my prayer having her back and going on outings and adventures with her. And then, God brought another new friend into my life. It happened so fast and out of the blue. I’m honestly still just in shock and amazement of how fast God can work sometimes!
This new friend was a girl my age, in a similar place in life, who has so many similar interests. It’s really quite a neat story how we met. We just happened to cross paths a few times a few months ago. We found out we had many common interests but didn’t actually get together until just recently. I have traced back all the ways and things that had to happen in my life in order to make meeting this girl happen, and let me just say, wow. God is a God who works in all of the tiny and random details of life. God truly does use everything, even the things we deem as a waste, for his good purposes. The fact that God was doing stuff in my life months ago that would make meeting this girl happen just blows my mind.
But back to my story, and this weekend. My new friend invited me to go Skiing on the weekend with some of her friends. It was the most fun and sweet time I’ve had in a long time. I honestly didn’t feel like I had to try hard to connect. It was so easy and natural meeting the two other girls that came with us. God was bringing more friends into my life through this new freind. On the last run of the day, while riding on the ski lift with one of the girls, I had very heartfelt conversation and learned that she had also gone through the pain of bringing her engagement to an end. What are the odds that God would bring another girl into my life, who has a similar story to mine. A girl whose is a couple more years down the road of healing which gives me so much hope to know that I’m not alone.
God is so good!
This is why I almost cried driving home from the skiing trip. I’ve been praying for so long to not be lonely and for a friend, and God has heard me. I am once again reminded that all of our times are truly in God’s hands. Everything we go through has a purpose in Gods’ plan. Even when it feels like we hit a dead end or our life takes an unexpected detour, God uses all of it.
The other day this verse kept running through my head from psalm 16 – “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. Surely I have a beautiful inheritance.” I am beginning to see the lines falling around me, and they show me that God is good and has good things planned for me. God may ask us to walk through hard seasons and long seasons of waiting or loneliness. But we must remember this; He does hear each and every one of our cries to him. In due time God will bring us out. In due time God will bring his plans for us to completion.
“But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands;”
Reposting this post today because it still applies and it’s a good reminder 🙂
You wanna know the honest truth about life in the hard seasons?
One day you may feel amazing and so happy. You reach these highs and have the fullest sense of peace and joy. And then the next day you are back in the valley. Feelings of hurt, sadness, disappointment, and grief are back. A few days ago I knew I was right in the will of God. I felt so much peace and joy in Christ. I knew exactly what God was leading me to do and I did it. Now as the gravity of what I did sinks in, I’m somewhat surprised to find myself feeling kinda sad again.
This idea has been in my head the past few days. Feelings Ebb and flow. They come and they go. We feel good and happy one day and then we feel sad again and that’s normal. The more I walk down this long path of uncertainty and surrendered desires, I’m realizing that I can’t always trust any of my feelings. My feelings would have lead me down a dark and hard road if I followed them.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to feel certain ways. I can’t always stop myself from feeling happy or sad. I can’t change my circumstances either. But I find this to be helpful. When I’m in the valley, there is one thing I can change. I can change my view. I choose to acknowledge my feelings and then I take them to God. I remind myself that God is with me and He is the one who lead me to this valley. When I look to God instead of my feelings I find peace in knowing that God has a purpose for each and every hard season I walk through. I find strength in the unchanging nature of God that gives me clarity over all of my changing feelings.
So all I’m trying to say in this post is that feelings ebb and they flow. If you felt so happy and content in God one day and then your down in the dumps again the next day, don’t stress yourself out. God is still with you even though your feelings may have changed. Choose to set your eye’s back on God when the days get hard again. Find comfort in God who is your Rock. Don’t forget all the ways he is leading you and caring for you and choose to trust that he will keep leading you and caring for you. The place your at and even the feelings you experience all have a good and perfect place in God’s plan for your life. Choose to walk with God through the good feelings and the bad ones, understanding that they will ebb and flow, and that’s okay.
I feel like I’m back to where I started. I was making progress and I was pretty sure I finally knew where God was leading me. Things were starting to fall into place and my life was beginning to take on a new direction. But then it all ended. Just like that, I am back where I started. Here I am again, not sure what God is doing in my life. The return of feeling lost and lonely have also been overwhelming.
I keep crying out to God, my desire isn’t bad. I simply want to fall in love and be in love again. I long to have someone in my life who will love me and who I can love in return. I’m tired of this waiting game and there are times when I literally feel like I can hear the clock slowly ticking ticking away. Is it not wrong that I just want to start a family together before I get much older and find myself in love again. I wish I could tell my past to stop coming back to my mind and reminding me of everything I lost.
Yes, I’m here again. I’m sad and struggling again with feeling depressed and it doesn’t help that I’ve also been recovering from Covid. My body has just been so weak and tired and I’m finally starting to get back to some sort of normal again. But the fatigue from Covid is no joke.
Maybe I need to take more time to look on the bright side some more. I’ve been here before so I know I can get through another hard season of waiting. I’m still young, even though I’m over halfway through my twenties. Yes, I didn’t get a love story when I wanted it (right out of highschool would’ve been prefurred) but I’m still in my twenties and still young. There is still plenty of time for God to write me a love story so that I can raise a family someday. I have a family that loves me and supports me even when I feel lost. They provide for me and don’t pressure me to leave even through I wish I could’ve been out starting my own home already. And I know I have a God who loves me still and is with me. God has a plan for everything I walk through even this. Somehow writing out these things helps me to stay focused.
So yes, here I am again. I know I’m not over this yet and I still have many hard days ahead. But I will not lose heart. I will keep moving forward and keep waiting on God.
The other day, I felt so lost but I was listening to the song “It is well.” I suddenly felt overwhelmed and tears flowed down my cheeks. I verbally said out loud to God – “Okay, God, If I never fall in love and get married, it is well with my soul. It is well.” And that’s how I want to end this post. As much as I want God to bring these things into my life, I can’t demand them. I can’t make them work with the wrong people. So I am learning to say that it is well, it is well with my soul, whatever the path the Lord takes me down.
But I’m not gonna lie, a little direction would sure be nice.
I long to be loved, and cherished and held. For awhile now I’ve praying each day that God would bring a guy into my life, in His timing of course, who will show me true Godly love and who will cherish everything about me. I desire a man who truly loves God first above all other things and who will be open and honest instead of hiding things. A man who won’t hurt me, but will hold me.
And as I’ve been thinking about all these things I remembered that a few years ago I wrote a few things down on my phone about this desire I have to be held. So I thought I’d share the reflections and scripture verses I wrote down with you today:
“Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually!”
I read this psalm the other day and all I can think about are the words “hold me”. They just stood out to me. The psalmist is experiencing a season of hardship and here he is crying out to God saying “hold me, that I may be safe.”
I find that there are times in my life where I want to be held. I don’t have a man in my life to hold me and let me just be honest with you all, it can be hard some days. There is a strong ache in my heart for someone to hold me and tell me it’s gonna be okay. I want to be re-assured everything will be okay, that I’ll be safe, and that I don’t have to worry. To simply have strong arms wrap around me tightly and promise to never let me go. To often I find myself getting sad, because, as a single girl, I feel left out.
But,I saw something as I read this psalm. I realized that God will hold me when I am feeling sad. When I cry out to God in my need He comes and comforts me. He cradles me with his love and says he will never leave me.
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
When God holds me, I know I’m safe. The safest place for me to be is in His arms. God’s arms are strong and He can protect me from all my troubles and all the evils of the world.
“Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7
So, I just wanna say, that it’s okay to desire to be held. It’s actually quite normal. We were created to have this desire in us. But we must be careful so that we don’t end up looking for it in the wrong places. My desire to be held should lead me to God – my loving heavenly father who will never stop lavishing me in His love.
Do you desire to be held? Even if you have someone to hold you on your hard days, you will never be able to find perfect rest in anyone other than God. When that desire comes, take it to God. Ask him to hold you and then rest in his great love for you.
Oh, what a beautiful thing, that our great God holds us! He will sustain us through whatever season we face. I’m gonna cry out to him just like the psalmist did in this passage. Will you do so too?
“Cast your burden on the Lord , and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
In God’s timing and in God’s way, I still pray that God will bring me a Godly man to love me. But as I wait I want to find my worth in God. God cherishes me like no man here on earth can. God loves me better than any human could. God will never hurt me like the relationships here on earth do. God is the one who holds me and I’m so thankful for this truth.
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
I’ve started doing something new…
Whenever I sit down and start praying to God and praying for my future, I’ve started a new habit. It’s a new way of praying. I’ve started, in way, almost demanding a great blessing from God. Not in a selfish way and expecting things to be done in a certain way. But rather it’s like a way for me to say; I trust you so much God and I know that there is going to be a great blessing on the other side of this season, so I am going to start praying for it. It reassures my heart in a unique way when I begin praying hard for that blessing that I know God has for me.
My prayers have gone from something like: “God I know you have good things instore for me and your plans are for me. Help me to trust you…” to “God, I pray that you will blow my mind with how great your blessing is for me! I have given up so much for you, God so I come to you and ask that you will give me something even greater in return! God help me to stay faithful to you as I wait!”
My mind thinks back to the story of Jacob and to the night when he wrestled with God. Right before the “angel of the Lord” left, Jacob clung onto Him and demanded He bless him. He said he wouldn’t let go until he got a blessing. And you know what, Jacob didn’t get rebuked, he got a blessing!
I find myself coming to the conclusion that God must be pleased when we as His children ask for good things from Him. Our good, good father loves to bless His children and there is no good thing that he withholds from us.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Praying in this way, and confidently asking for God’s good blessing as we take the steps of obedience, is a way to grow in our faith. It’s a way to take trusting in Him one step further. If you desire God’s blessing but find yourself in a season of waiting or hurting, let me challenge you to give this type of prayer a try. Find a blessing of God, hold onto it, and pray it for you life. Don’t waver in your belief that God will bless you, pray with confidence that God will bless you beyond what you can imagine. But also keep in mind as your praying, in order for God to bless you in this way, you need to keep holding onto him, keep following him in your season, and give God time to work. The blessing is coming!
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Have you ever heard it said before that life is a gift?
Life truly is such a beautiful gift from our Heavenly father. But lately I’ve found myself thinking a little bit deeper about this idea of life being a gift. Yes, life is gift, but I want to also say that each season we walk through in this life is a gift.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how everyone’s life is different. Some people get married young, some people end up waiting for many years. Some people have children right away while others don’t. I went from almost being married to suddenly being single again and for awhile I really struggled with being back in this season. I felt so many emotions and the last thing I wanted was to see being back in this season as gift. I will admit, I struggled with many bitter thoughts about those who seemed to be getting what I wanted. But slowly, God’s been working on my heart and I’m starting to see now the place God has me at truly is a sweet place. I deeply long for the next season in my life to start but I am finally able to see now that each one of these seasons we go through is a gift.
For the single girl, these years we have alone are a such sweet gift. We get to draw closer to our Lord and Savior during this time and serve him with pure devotion. We can serve God in ways that those who are married can’t. The time we spend single, however long, is a gift from God. It’s so easy for us to look at those married and become bitter. We tend to view them as the ones receiving God’s gift and blessing without realizing that our single years are also a blessed gift. When the timings right God will bring us to the next stage, but let us not miss all the good that is awaiting for us in this season of being single.
And for those who married young, you also have been given a gift. God wrote you a beautiful love story and allowed you grow alongside your man while you were still young. You have been given something that many singles have longed for, so cherish the gift you were given. It was always my desire to get married young and when it didn’t happen I had to wrestle with all the pangs of disappointment in my heart. For a while I felt myself growing bitter and I would try to find ways in mind to prove that it is better to stay single. But I can see now that whether God calls some to be single longer, and some to marry young, both are good gifts that come from God. Our job is simply live our best life for God in whichever season he has called us too.
And I also want to say that for the ones waiting to have a family, you’re season is a gift. God has asked you to rely on him in greater ways as you walk with Him through your waiting. Cherish the closeness you have with God during this season. Just like being single, it’s to easy to see what others have and become bitter. You may see many friends starting families and getting what you desire. But remember that their season is also a gift from God and it is the path God has called them to walk which is unique to them.
So, as you can see, I’m starting to realize that each season, not just life, is a gift. A gift is not something you can make happen. You don’t buy yourself your own gift, that just simply is not how the art of gift giving works. A gift is something that can only be given. If God has called you to wait longer than others, don’t view it as something to be despised. Realize that it is a gift. Serving God in your time of waiting is as much of a gift as receiving the things you desire.
This may be a cheesy way to end this post, but the quote from Lord of the Rings when Gandalf is talking to Frodo is running through my head right now – “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” Whatever your situation or season, choose to see it as the beautiful gift that it is. Once you can view it in this way you can truly live out your calling and make the best use of the time that God has given you here on earth.
I’ve noticed that in these last few months my walk with God has really changed… a lot. I have experienced I closeness with God that feels more real than all the other times in the past. I was even sharing with my mom that I suddenly felt like I had this new boldness in my faith and strange and wonderful joy in the Lord.
I’ve been thinking about the last few months and all the times that God has brought me to surrender something to Him. I feel like after each act of surrender I made my relationship with God took on a new level. It’s as if taking the step of surrender is a key opening a door that leads to a deeper closeness to God. But just one time isn’t enough. Surrender is something we have to keep doing. Once we open one door, we will find another one behind that. Each door taking us closer to Jesus and his love for us.
I really like this idea of a key unlocking doors. As we live this life and choose to follow Jesus down the paths He has for us there will be doors we face. These doors are a vital step in our walk. They appear when we reach a point where we have to surrender something that we have been focusing too much on and choose to follow God. It’s not easy to to make these decisions of surrender and sometimes we see the door and we think it’s a dead end. But when we take the step, insert the key, and unlock the door by giving our desires to God, the most beautiful thing happens. The door opens up and we find ourselves on new ground with our Lord and Savior. He fills our heart with a new love and closeness to Him and gives us the strength we need to keep on following Him.
I pray that on my journey, each time I reach a new door I’ll be able to take the step of surrender and choose to follow Jesus through it because I know that there is deeper joy on the other side. And I hope that this idea can help you too as you keep on following Jesus through your doors and grow closer to him in your walk. Each door and act of surrender we walk through will bring us closer to our dear Savior and that is the most beautiful place to be.
This question has been on my mind a lot lately and God has been so gracious each time my heart has a question like this one to guide me to the right answer and example in scripture. In my Bible study, we are still working our way through Genesis. I’ve talked about Abraham, Job, Jacob, and even David on this blog. Are you ready for the next Bible character that I’m finding myself in. If you know your bible, you may be able to guess which one comes next. It’s Joseph! And oh boy, what an amazing story is Joseph’s story. It’s a story full of unfair and unjust suffering, but one that is overflowing with God’s goodness and good purposes!
I’m not gonna lie to you, I’ve kinda created a new little saying that I keep telling myself each day. I’ve been saying “I am Joseph”. As I read the story of Joseph and look at my life, I keep finding myself saying “I am Joseph”. In my Bible study, we were discussing the life of Joseph and the sudden onset of suffering he faced. Joseph went from being the most favored/spoiled child to becoming a slave all in less than a day. I was thinking to myself, “wow, I wonder what it must have felt like to have everything and then lose everything”. Then I literally felt like I had my eyes opened up to the fact that, that is my story. I saw an almost identical pattern in a way my life has been these past few months. Only months ago I was so happy. I was finally on the verge of all my dreams coming true. I was engaged and in the process of starting a life with someone and oh it was bliss. But then it ended so fast. One thing after another came to light and before i knew it, it was all gone.
I AM JOSEPH. I can feel the same hurt and pain and disappointment that he must have felt. All his dreams, gone. All his family and friends gone. His life suddenly taking a completely different route and an unwanted move to a new location. (Okay, wow, there really are a lot of similarities here, granted I still have my family and friends, but I moved to a new area and have been struggling to get connected so I do relate in a way to the loneliness and I do in a way also feel like I lost a family because how close I became to his family).
There really is not a lot of good happening in Joseph’s story, but if you keep reading the story of Joseph there is something very encouraging. It is said at least three times in the book of Genesis that God was with Joseph. In each season of suffering Joseph faced, Joseph had every right to complain and despair. Maybe he did at times, but the Bible never mentions it. Instead Joseph rose to the top of every situation he found himself in. He was greatly blessed and God gave him success in all he did. Even as a slave Joseph rose to high favor. And let me tell you something, you cannot rise to favor if all you ever do is complain about how bad your luck has been.
I imagine Joseph must have known that God was with him. How else could he have had the faith to keep on going without despairing. His pain had to have been great. And I’m not saying he no longer felt the pain and hurt that his brothers inflicted on him. Later in Genesis Joseph says “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” So obviously, his pain during this time was constantly on his mind. But what Joseph shows us here is how to rightly respond when suffering happens and we have no control over it. We must get up and keep going. We have the choice to either wallow in our self pity and despair, or make the best out of whatever situation we find ourselves in. I’ve gotta believe that when we choose the latter, God truly blesses it, just like he blesses Joseph.
God blessed Joseph and gave him favor in each place he found himself in. In Potiphar’s house, he rose to leadership. In prison, he rose to leadership. Then, lastly, in Pharaoh’s kingdom, he rose to leadership. None of these places Joseph found himself in were places he wanted to be. In fact, if he had the choice to go back to his family, I’m sure he would take it without even looking back. I can tell you that there are definitely times in my life that I wish I could just go back to those happy days and forget about the pain. But I have no control over the place I’m in right now which is why Joseph’s story has been so encouraging to me. I’m learning from Joseph’s story that God’s will for me in this season is to keep on trusting Him and to find ways to keep on serving Him even while I’m hurting.
I also want to talk a bit about the end of Joseph’s story. As I’m sure you are familiar with how in the story of Joseph we get to see how all his suffering would one day make sense and play a role in God’s amazing plan. God used Joseph to be the means of saving many nations, including Israel, from a devastating famine. Joseph became a great leader in Egypt, a wise man who was full of integrity. But if he became a ruler in Egypt right away without first spending years as a slave and in prison, I don’t believe he’d be the same ruler. God was using the hard seasons of suffering in his life to teach him how to be humble and also how to lead and manage other people. When God’s time was right, Joseph was given one of the most coveted positions in all Egypt. Truly, Joseph was finally able to say that God had taken all his sorrow away.
I think that it’s so encouraging to see how God was using Joseph’s suffering to position him in the right place at the right time to bring provision to God’s people. God was preparing Joseph for something greater. And that is what God is doing when we suffer! God is preparing us for something bigger, better, and greater. God is using all the suffering in our life for his good purposes. Often times, like Joseph, we can’t see the whole picture of what God is doing while we are in the middle of it. Maybe all we see is the pain and unending waiting. But we can hold onto the truth that God is going to work all things out our for good and God will be with us, as He was with Joseph.
So yes, I am Joseph! And maybe as you look at your life, you are Joseph too. Maybe God has brought sudden or unjust suffering into your life. The big question to ask yourself then is “what is my response?” Remember, it’s okay to feel hurt and pain. In fact, if you don’t feel any pain as you suffer I’d be worried that something is wrong with you. What really matters the most is what you do with the hurt? Do you dwell on it and let it lead you to despair. Or do you get up and keep on chasing after God and serving him in the place your at, trusting that God is going to do something great through it.
Let us hold onto the truth that God is always with us through every trial we face. Every season of suffering has a purpose that we may not be able to see until the time is right. But we can know this, God is taking us down these hard paths because he wants to prepare us and make us into something greater! God’s purposes for your life are so much greater than whatever it is you have lost, so let’s be like Joseph and keep on suffering well in this life!