Skip to main content

Hardship and Joy

“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3 NIV

Yesterday, I spoke of things that I gave up in order to follow God. Each time it was incredibly difficult to make the choice. I fought tooth and nail with God, especially the first two I listed, because I couldn't see how giving them up and choosing the path God was directing me to could bring me anything but misery and pain. As for getting up early in the morning to come to my prayer room, I've always wanted to be able to do that but it seemed impossible to give up the sleep I seemed to never get enough of.

Yes, in each case I made a conscious choice for what seemed to be incredible hardship however, I want you to know that every single time, God turned the pain into sweet joy. Twenty-eight years after choosing to return to my husband, things are better than they have ever been and continue to get even better.

When I chose to leave Pearl, I was raging angry at God for about a week for not letting us even be friends. But then God changed my heart in some radical ways and so, even though I still miss her, I am very glad I made the choice I did. God has become more real to me than I ever thought possible.

As for not sleeping in anymore, well, it's an amazing thing. I'm now waking and getting before my alarm rings. There's a draw, a pull, that makes me look forward to leaving the warmth and comfort of my bed on the second floor to come to the much cooler prayer room in the basement.

With each point of decision in our lives, we have to make the choice. No one, not even God, will make it for us. But once we've chosen God's way, things change. God rewards those who diligently seek him. Not always right away. It took years for our marriage to improve, for example. Sometimes God tests us to see if we'll hold to the choice we've made and sometimes there are other reasons for hardship and pain but God always enables us to follow through on the good choices we've made.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Monogamous, Homosexual Unions--My Position and the Story behind it

I've been asked to be one of two participants at church each representing opposing views on the matter of monogamous, homosexual unions, moderated by the pastor.  In preparation, I have written the following.  In the comments, please do not post any vitriol--from either side. If I think any comment is hateful, I will delete it. Respectful disagreement or questions are welcome, however.















My Position and Values:
I believe that sexual relations between two people of the same sex is contrary to God’s will.I would like to say otherwise but I find nothing in Scripture that allows me to do so.BEING homosexual, having a longing or desire for someone of the same sex, is not condemned in the Bible.  We all have desires that are contrary to God’s will.  The sin occurs when we feed those desires, like Jesus talks about when he calls lust adultery (Matthew 5:28).Much cruelty to LGBTQ people has happened because of the stance of the Church. We have not acted with love, compassion and listening ear…

In My Prayer Room

Oh God
You surround me with your love,
with memories
of who you are
of what you've done
of promises you've made
of who I want to be
of who I am because of you.

You give me hope and joy,
peace and gratitude.
You convict me
and teach me
encourage me
and remind me
of what it means to follow you.












You listen to my prayers
and grant my requests
in your time.
You give me insight
and knowledge
and words to write
to share your presence
your goodness
your love
your admonition
with others.























You expand my love
to pray for friend and foe
near and far
family and stranger
people as pins on maps
clustered and scattered
who know you and reject you
for those in need
and those too full to need.


















You draw me close
and then release me
to bring you close to others
to serve
and love
and give
all I have received.

You fill my heart with joy
that warms
and glows
and bursts
into laughter,
song
and even dance.

You wrap me in your arms
and tell me
"You are mine"
with intensity that burns
and smoul…

What Is Separating me from the Promise?

This is the question Andy Wood asked us each to consider this morning at the end of his sermon and it hit me like a thunderbolt.

Imagine the Jordan River on the eve of the Israelites crossing it into the Promised Land.  The river was at flood stage, so it was moving quickly (even the Red River here in Winnipeg moves quickly during flood season) but this particular stretch of the river near Jericho is narrower than the rest so that as the rushing flood waters reached the point where the people were waiting--all two million of them--it became even more turbulent.  Anyone who's witnessed a flood knows that it doesn't just carry water; there is debris like fallen trees, parts of sheds and houses and perhaps even animals unable to escape the river's grab.

Back in the days of Abraham, God had promised the land of Canaan to him and his descendants but during the days of Abraham's great-grandson, Joseph, the whole family had moved out of the Promised Land to Egypt because of f…