“When God withholds something good from us,
we learn whether or not we are content to have God
and nothing else.”
- Marshall Segal
As my 30th birthday approaches I’ve been reflecting on my life. Am I the only one who’s younger self imagined what their older self would be like? Sometimes my dreams were silly and self- centered. Sometimes my dreams were for service and sacrifice, but with an adventurous twist like the missionary stories I read as a little girl.
God has graciously given joy and happiness in my life, but he has also blessed me with deep pain and heartache.
Now God has been slowly prying my fingers loose that we’re tightly gripping my dreams and has been replacing them with his dreams for me.
But not far easier.
I know I’ve been talking in generalities so let me be specific. By 30 I imagined I’d be a mom. Many of my 30 yr old friends are Moms and many aren’t. Being a mom is a good gift so there was nothing wrong with that dream in and of itself. But that dream trumped my desire for God’s glory. How do I know that was the case? Because when God decided to glorify himself by taking away my child my world was wrecked. When God decided that years would pass with no biological or adopted children, I fell into depression and despair. It sounds very childish to me as I write. But the pain was (and still is sometimes) so real and so deep that the brokenness is all I can see.
But what has God given me in return?
I didn’t see this at first by any means! A month or so after my son died I said “if this is what God’s love looks like then I want nothing to do with it.”
Actually God’s love looks like Jesus on the cross and rising from the dead!
God is showing me that to know Jesus and his sufferings is joy and eternally valuable.
Through the loss of my son and infertility and prolonged waiting for adoption, I’ve thought joy and happiness would never dare to step foot again into my painful life.
But God had other plans. Plans to show me my joy was based in small, temporal things and he wanted me to experience ENORMOUS eternal joy!
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.
For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Joy that reaches deeper than my deepest pain! Joy and happiness solely experienced from knowing God through his Word.
So let’s read the Word, friends! And share with others the joy found in Jesus!