Saturday, August 22, 2009

more precious than gold

Our friend, Jill, has cancer. Recently, she wrote about I Peter 1:6,7 on her CaringBridge site:

“You have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
great trials.”

It seems that I would choose to do most anything to bypass great trials. I don’t like suffering. A commentary I read says this about suffering:

"Afflictions are but as a dark entry into our Father's house," wrote Thomas Brooks. Christians through the generations of the church have borne testimony to this experience. In the midst of the suffering we are able to see little or no point to it all. So we cry to God, "Why?" Afterward, whether very soon or much later, we find such good resulting from the suffering that we reach the point of being able to say sincerely, "The good I have seen coming out of the trial, especially the benefit of my knowing God far better now, is worth the suffering it took to get me here." Because we value the Lord and his kingdom and the crown of life more than we value ease or comfort, it becomes the choice of realism and wisdom to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds. ‘However reluctant we may be to embrace it, we know that suffering rightly received is one of the Christian's supreme means of grace.’(Wenham 1974:79). “

This past week, I have asked Loyd several times: “How did I get through starting school last year?” I realize that God, in his great love, guided me, rescued me, guarded me, and gave me refuge. I know this because the great grief should have killed me…but it didn’t…it has given me something more precious than gold.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

climbing mountains

Last week, Loyd and I went on a short vacation to a state park in Oklahoma. There were some small mountains (hills), with lots of rocks, to climb. It was beautiful! Loyd and I were hiking to some cliffs that overlook a lake. It was a long hike, and we started up a rocky hill. I gave out, and sat on a log. Loyd continued to climb to see if he could find a cliff (just because he knew I wanted to stand on one so badly). He found one! He came back down and urged me on. He told me it was just a little way up…a hard climb, to be sure, but he assured me it was worth the climb. I garnered my energy and continued the climb. He was right! We came to a cliff. It overlooked a lake, and we could see forever. We were on top of the world!

As we were hiking back to the car (a long hike), I was thinking about how often I am going through a difficult circumstance, and I want to give up; but God urges me on…telling me how good it’s going to be at the top. I was thinking about how he helps me…urges me on…supports me…encourages me. How he helps me to get to the top (if I trust him and keep trudging ahead). I was also thinking how good it would be to have people, who walk along with us, helping us continue the climb in difficult times of our lives.

At the end of the mountain hike, I was tired! But…I was also exhilarated…proud of myself…more in love with my Loyd than ever…and in possession of a memory that will never leave me.

The life lesson in this…I pray that I will trust and obey so that God can lead me to the beauty he has ahead for me. I also pray that I will be aware of the needs of those around me… and be willing to help them continue the climb.