When I was young (20’s), I’m sure I thought I would have it all together when I reached the half-century mark. Well, to be honest, I thought anyone over 40 had one foot in the grave already, but beyond that youthful foolishness, I really did think older people must have the puzzles of life figured out by 50.
Sigh. The truth, I’ve found, is that once we figure out one thing, God takes us to the next lesson. Life is a school that’s always in session. I will never have all the answers. Mysteries abound, as do trials that force me to grow and change. I see through a glass darkly.
The January 12th reading from Streams in the Desert says:
Reckon it nothing but joy … whenever you find yourself hedged in by the various trials, be assured that the testing of your faith leads to power of endurance. (James 1:2-3)
God hedges in His own in order to protect them. Yet often they only see the wrong side of the hedge and therefore misunderstand His actions. And so it was with Job when he asked, “Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?” (Job 3:23). Ah, but Satan knew the value of that hedge! He challenged the Lord by saying, “Have you not put a hedge around [Job] and his household and everything he has?” (Job 1:10).
Onto the pages of every trial there are narrow shafts of light that shine. Thorns will not prick you until you lean against them, and not one will touch you without God knowing. The words that hurt you, the letter that caused you pain, the cruelty of your closest friend, your financial need—they are all known to Him. He sympathizes as no one else can and watches to see if through it all, you will dare to trust Him completely.
Trusting God completely. That’s what I want to do.
I’ve reached the book of Joshua in my 90 Day reading. The introduction in my audio TNIV Bible says Joshua is a book of faith, a story of Israel’s both having faith and lacking faith. I’ve always loved the part about the priests stepping into the flood stage waters of the Jordan first, in faith, and then the waters backed up so that all could walk across. I want to walk in that kind of faith, that kind of trust.
So here I go. I’m putting my faith foot in the water. How about you?
In the grip of His grace,