I want to start off today by saying thank you to my friends who wrote guest posts for me this week while I took some time to disconnect, relax and refresh. I hope you enjoyed reading their work. All of them have spent time in the darkest of valleys. Some of them wrote to you this week from the valley. They are in that place where they haven’t seen the sun from the side or top of a mountain in their lives for months. Yet they still cling to hope in the One who will guide them through.
I found inspiration in each of their works. Nathan pointed out that both good times and difficult times are temporary. When we are in a season of either, we tend to feel like they’ll last forever. We think either, “I don’t ever want to give up this mountain top experience” or “Will I ever see the sun again in my life?” We have to learn that a well balanced life means we’re going to have times of joy and pain in our lives. Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us, “To everything there is a time and a season for everything under heaven.”
Shelly then pointed out that the direct route is not always God’s route. He likes detours and He has a purpose for them. When I talk to young people, I let them know that it’s great to make plans for your life, but be prepared for detours. God may have called you to do something or to go to a certain place, but don’t expect His route to be the same as yours. You’ll still end up where He told you He’d take you, but He needs to take you through detours in order to get you ready for the future He’s planned for you. By the way, detours make the best stories!
Next Mike reminded me to be brave enough to give correction to others when needed and humble enough to accept it when I need it. I used to work with a lady who would say, “God only had one perfect son and you’re not it!” I laugh when I think about it, but thank God she had the courage to correct me when I needed it. I don’t like being the one giving it or receiving it, but I know that both are a necessary part of being a Christian. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Those clashes hurt and make a lot of noise, but in the end, we’re better for it.
Finally, my friend Bill reminded us that when we ask God, “Why me” in a trial, it reveals how we view Him. Either we think we don’t deserve it and that He should have given this burden to one of the other billions of people on the planet or that He has a purpose in our trials and wants us to learn something. We all eventually ask Him that question when the trial seems to have no end. The difference is our motive in asking it. Job even broke down and asked God with the wrong motive. Check out Job 38 to see God’s reply. It’s particularly convicting to me in the Message.
I hope that each of you gained new perspective from people that I follow and read. Take the time today to check out their other works as well as to say a prayer for them. Each of them could use a touch from God today in their situations. I’ve found that even when I’m going through the darkest of nights, someone else always has it worse than I do and it’s still my responsibility to lift others up in prayer even when I need it too. That said, I’ll be lifting you up in prayer today because God knows what you need better than I do.