“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared
with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. …”
Philippians 3:8 NLT
All my life, if you had asked me what “normal” was, I would have said it was a peaceful, trouble free life. Trouble will come, but like waves after a storm, the waters will settle down when the wind stops blowing. What is your “normal” setting?
Then one day I realized that maybe God had gone to a lot of trouble to create just the right trial I needed as s lesson to illuminate another area where I didn’t rely on him nor trust him to take care of my needs.
I knew in my head that Father God is the only giver of good gifts, that everything good comes to us through him. (Jas. 1:16,17) I remembered Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
What if God’s purposes are not like ours? What if the “good” thing, the best thing, for us is to be put in the fire of testing to purify us? What if God will use trouble to draw us closer to him in intimate relationship? In the storms, we receive revelations of the Lord and his love that we may have missed when all is going smoothly. So, maybe God even designs a few problems to fit our needs?
When normal is smooth sailing, it feels like I can do pretty much everything without Jesus and his finished work on the Cross for me. But put me in a good storm, the boat precariously tipping into the waves, and I know I need my Savior and Lord! When we understand the truth that we will always live in a dangerous world, we realize our need for God. We search for him and listen to him. We get familiar with his voice and learn to trust in his love.
As we live day by day depending on God’s presence, our confidence grows in our Triune God and we begin to really believe who God’s Word says we are to him. We are daughters, friends, ambassadors. We are seated with Christ in the heavenly realm. No matter the trials, what happens to us can never change who we are in Christ.
We are more than conquerors. We are cherished, loved and eternally belong to a heavenly family, and so much more! We begin to love the Cross of Christ, his completed work there that guarantees our forgiveness of sin, and made the way for us to return to our eternal home. In Christ, these are our “normal”.
Dear friends, be blessed to embrace the storms of life as learning grounds. May you lean on and rest in Jesus, depend on him every day. As you do, may you realize he is always with you. So, no matter the circumstances, he becomes your firm foundation, in sunshine and in storms. You are loved and safe in his arms. Rejoice in your growing relationship with him! Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ January 31, 2023