Do you ever think through your life and wonder “how have things come to this point?”
I think about all the events, relationships, the good and bad times that I have experienced so far and can’t help but wonder, do they matter? How do all these small pieces of my life come together to form the reality I am living in now? How do the dots connect?
I realize there are some things that happen in our lives that we deem to be awful. Bad relationships, jobs or life events can seem like they have no purpose in the moment. I can think back on my own life and wonder why the Lord orchestrated some things the way He did. In the moment it can be very easy to not see any benefit or purpose at all. It’s simply uncomfortable or painful and that is where it ends. Yes there are times where the Lord allows us to see the plan behind the circumstances, but that is not often the case. More than often we are left with our faith and the assurance that we have a God who works all things together for our good.
This is a hard thing to do. Have faith. Faith is against the nature that we have. We want to be able to see and understand in the moment. I know I do. I know that when I am going through a difficult time I want the solution for it right then and there. I usually don’t want to wait and see what the Lord is doing. I’m uncomfortable and I want my comfort back. That is the way I think. However, I must realize that the Lord uses affliction and pain for my good. He uses it to bring me closer to Him. This is something I do not remember enough.
Charles Spurgeon put it perfectly, as he always does, when he said,
“The Lord's mercy often rides to the door of our hearts on the black horse of affliction. Jesus uses the whole range of our experiences to wean us from earth and woo us to Heaven.”
This is something I would do well to remember in my life. Although I may not understand what is going on in the moment, I for sure can look back on my life and see the faithfulness of my King. He has never let me down. He has never abandoned me. He has never allowed me to fall into complete despair or hopelessness. He has always remained faithful and I believe He will continue to do so until my work here on this earth is done. That is a promise from Him.
All of our experiences here on earth are to draw us closer to the person of Christ. They mold us and shape us into better servants for our King. The good and the bad bring us to the throne of grace and (hopefully) cause us to have a greater dependency on Christ and less on ourselves. They “wean us from earth and woo us into Heaven.” They shape our minds to have a Heavenly focus instead of an earthy one. We look at life through the lens of eternity rather than the fickle, wisp of reality we live in now. Our perspective changes. We begin to think less like ourselves and more like God. We should all want this.
So when the hard times come and the anger, anxiety, sadness or fear hit you like a punch to the face, look back on your life and witness the faithfulness of the Lord. Look how the dots of your life events connect and see the hand of God in them all. Trust that the Lord knows what He is doing and nothing happens outside His sovereign will. Our affliction may be dark, as dark as night, but our King is strong. He rules with utter surety and complete sovereignty. We can trust Him because He is good. His mercy will find you when you seek Him and you will never find Him silent when you call for strength. He is faithful when we are faithless. That is the glory of the Gospel.