i have a friend whose whole life has been changed by reading Ann Voskamp's book: 1000 Gifts. The other day I was visiting my friend and saw this note taped to the wall near her phone:
-NEVER allow yourself to complain about anything.
-NEVER picture yourself in any other circumstance or some other place.
-NEVER compare your lot in life with another person's.
-NEVER allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
-NEVER dwell on tomorrow. Remember that tomorrow is God's.
I'd like to add that some people who are very near and dear to my heart are going through an extremely painful situation-at this point only God knows the outcome. The ONLY way I've been able to handle the situation is to constantly remind myself that God is bigger than any circumstance. He can handle each one of them and it's up to me to trust Him. Or not...
When I first heard about this circumstance, I spent a lot of time weeping. A lot. Then I started thinking about God and my life and His track record of faithfulness. I could write a book about it. Looking back at His faithfulness and steadfastness in my life has reminded me of His love and given me joy and comfort even in a situation that at the moment makes no sense.
And if you think about the bible, it's chalk full of God reminding His people to look back at His track record. Look back at HIS faithfulness. Over and over He told the Israelites to remember all the things God had done for them and to teach their children the history of Israel so that they would remember and see it too. God's fingerprints are everywhere, all the time and we can see them if we look for them.
I've been doing 2 things to get through this time. 1. Clinging to Romans 8:28:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
2. I've also been looking for God in the circumstance. Even in the pain...even in the confusion...even in the weariness I see and the weariness I feel myself...I AM finding tiny things to be thankful for. Tiny hugs from the Lord and tiny glimpses of His faithfulness to work even this situation for good. It's giving me joy and hope and peace even in the middle of something that is more than awful. God IS and He is bigger than anything we go through here. His hands are warm and tender and safe and quite capable.
This is just a passing through place. Eternity is coming. (I got that from John Eldridge, but boy howdy, do I cling to it! :-) )
For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen!