Hardship Ramblings

The last few months have been a bit of personal challenge. I lost access to a friend because of cancer. I have regret, disappointment and grief for the sake of experiences in the lives of others whom have been close to me or my family. Some events were of no control of individuals, while others have been seeing the consequences of poor choices. Pastoral ministry hurts because it’s not a job but a life of relationships and friendships.

The decision for a local move for our family was a firm sense of calling to where God has us in life. We have been blessed beyond words and tears that our family is rooted in a church family and ministry in essentially our hometown Maryland. Yet, there is a sense of longing for more and what’s next that has been hard to understand and voice to others. We have had several friends come and go out of our lives in the past few years that has carried a variety of emotions. Some are bittersweet in knowing that God arranges us in the puzzle pieces of life for His divine purposes. There is contentment in trusting God’s sovereignty. That does not make facing these circumstances easy but it has eased the emotional burden.

In all, faith and trust in God is a daily and moment by moment reality. This post is not necessarily an effort to be coherent but simply a means to confess my weakness and need for God in my own life. My ramblings go further in sharing reflections on my heart the past few months. I write to share them in hopes God may use them to remind me to keep walking in faith, and perhaps to encourage others to do the same.

God does not curse us with burdens but blesses us with them.

Hardship is not punishment but God’s pruning for our good and spiritual growth. plant_1

Life struggles are the soil in which God plants the revelation of our need for Him.

The focus of my circumstances will not change with grumbling or hand-wringing but with gratefulness and hand-raising in prayer to the Lord.

God often uses our tears to teach us to trust.

Maturity occurs most in adversity.

The wilderness moments of life reveal the worship of our heart. 

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 “God has led you… in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”

Psalm 119:71 “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”

Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

2Corinthians 1:9 “[our afflictions were] to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”

James 1:2-4 “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

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