When pondering things, God usually shows up. ;) I will admit that I didn't pull myself out of bed this morning, so I just finished up my devotions a little bit ago, but nonetheless God showed up when I sat to meet with Him. (Isn't He great!?!) I read the end of a week about The Enemy and the beginning of the week about The School of Sorrows. In those 2 short pages, God was Big! Then, He was in my other book too. :)
So, let me share what He taught me...
First off, the Enemy (Satan) is out to get me to doubt and fear and anything that goes against God. Questioning and feeling sorry for myself are 2 of his big attacks on me! When I begin to question what God is doing, or not doing, then I have pulled the focus off of God and onto myself. Yes, I am attacked, but my God is more powerful and He will work it all to my good and His glory. Often times the attacks of the enemy lead to me being a student in The School of Sorrows. (Now, there are times when sorrows come that aren't a direct attack of the enemy, but we really don't know the difference between the 2 because we can't see what is going on in the heavenlies.) Anyways, The School of Sorrows is where I learn. It is where I grow and God teaches me. Here are some quotes (The One Year Book of Hope, by Nancy Guthrie, p.209)
suffering nourishes even as it causes pain
And yet to grow in God is to enroll in a difficult school where character is built out of persevering through difficulty.
Would you say to God even now, "If I have to go through this, then give me everything. Teach me everything you want to teach me through this. Don't let this incredible pain be wasted in my life?"
This last quote really got me! I have told God to let me learn everything I need to learn about waiting now as we wait for a job because I do not want to go through this again. But, I have forgotten that! I have begun to look at the time and lost sight of what God is trying to teach me. As the money dwindles, I need to seek how God wants us to live and not how the world thinks we should live. As I grieve my baby girl, I need to seek God on how He wants her life to change mine. I wouldn't trade Janie Beth for anything! I have been so blessed by this journey. I don't think I would trade our lack of money and a job either. It has drawn Joey and I closer. It has shown us what God wants from our family. It has given me a biblical worldview. Most of the time! I needed to be reminded.
These are the verses quoted from The Message in the devotional.
1 Peter 4:1-2
Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning rom that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.
OUCH!!! That one hurt! I had fallen into the trap of thinking what I was going to get out of this journey. I had started to think that God must have something really good for us. Yikes!!! We are so ready to serve God where He has called us, at least we think we are. :) I do think that whatever God has will be good for us, but it may not look that way from the world's point of view. That is hard to swallow sometimes. But, in my heart, all I truly want to do is touch lives for Jesus, wherever that is.
I must share a quote from Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman, p.146.
The fire did not arrest their motion; they walked in the midst of it. It was one of the streets through which they moved to their destiny. The comfort of Christ's revelation is not that it teaches emancipation from sorrow, but emancipation through sorrow.
No, this wasn't the road I would have chosen, but do I really know best. ;) God has truly blessed me on this road.
Here is a poem that was in this same devotion in Streams in the Desert.
"The road is too rough." I said;
"It is uphill all the way;
No flowers, but thorns instead; And the skies over head are grey."
But One took my hand at the entrance dim,
And sweet is the road that I walk with Him.
"The cross is too great," I cried--
"More than the back can bear,
So rough and heavy and wide,
And nobody by to care."
And One stooped softly and touched my hand:
"I know. I care. And I understand."
Then why do we fret and sigh;
Cross-bearers all we go"
But the road ends by-and-by
In the dearest place we know,
And every step in the journey we
May take in the Lord's own company.
Just a side note: I changed my background today, and it is called one heart in the clouds. :) I know heaven isn't really in the clouds, but a piece of my heart is there, and I thought this kind of expressed our journey.