"Pain will come because pain is the underbelly of love, but Love is the greatest because nothing, not even pain, can can ever steal Love’s joy.” -Ann Voskamp
Isn't much of life just messy? Relationships, Work, Emotions, Circumstances...all of them can just get so messy. I love my friend Jen's blog. She calls it a "beautiful mess" and isn't that just what we are all?? One big, beautiful, hot mess. :)
To be honest, I've felt a bit of a mess lately. Scratch that. A LOT of a mess lately. These past two years have been so FULL. Full of spiritual transformation, full of brokenness, full of change. Change is painful. Realizing my faith was incomplete was painful. Allowing God to break down all the walls I'd built up around my life was painful. But God does a funny thing with our pain. He uses it. He loves us through it. He shapes us through it and makes us FULL and more complete. Stronger. Deeper. More courageous and more hopeful. A better reflection of Himself.
I'm in one of those seasons right now. God is stripping me of everything I rely on, everything I know and am comfortable with and leaving me with just Him. JUST HIM?? Hmmm...isn't that the place I should be every day of my life? Reliant upon Him and Him only? Isn't "just Him" all that I need? Isn't it funny when life doesn't go as we expect that we can immediately take on a "But, God...I deserve better than this! I gave up so much to follow you!" kind of attitude? Wow. How childish. How ridiculous. Don't I recognize that HE is the one that gave up everything for ME??? Don't I know that just because things are bumpy and more difficult than I like that He is still the God who loves me and has my best interest at heart? Don't I know that God is more concerned with growing my character and my love for Him than my comfort and satisfaction?
I know it in my head, but sometimes it takes a while to sink deep into my heart. I have so many questions right now, so much I don't understand. But then I'm reminded of 1 Peter 4:12 that says "Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner".
And here's the bottom line for me today. My life is about bringing glory to God. That's what I long for, that's what God longs for. And so if God is glorified in the midst of my difficulty then it is worth it. Always. There's a line to a song that says "Bring me anything that brings You glory". Anything. Yikes!! But that's what I long for today - a heart that says "God, I will choose to follow you and trust you when I don't understand. I will choose JOY in the midst of my pain and difficulty because YOU are worth it. Because You deserve all the glory".
And He is SO worth it. God's faithfulness and love is the same yesterday, today and forever. My circumstances may change but He does not. And so I have HOPE and I beg for Him to enter into my mess and give me the ability to see Him for who He is and for what He is doing in the middle of it all. Because He is doing something. He is loving me in the midst of the messiness. He is whispering His joy to my heart. He is refining me. He is working to make me more like Him. And that's all I ever want to be. More like my Savior.
The LORD is trustworthy in ALL he promises and faithful in all he does.
The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.