For 3 years, I have waited. Sometimes, I waited well. Other times…not so much. I’ve had dreams and desires for ministry that have gone unfulfilled and my heart has many times been frustrated. I wanted to devote time to writing and ministry. But I had to work. I wanted to be a homemaker and actually have time to clean our humble abode. But we needed my income. I felt as if I was in a never ending cycle of being still, becoming restless, which moved my heart to discontentment, and then back to humbly trusting the Lord and remaining still, yet again.
Today is the day I’ve anticipated for a long while. My heart is filled with excitement and uneasiness about the unknown, but mostly my heart is filled with joy. My Lord provided, in his time, in his way and in spite of my restless, struggling heart.
I start this new season with enough wisdom from the Lord to know that the excitement will indeed wear off. It’s guaranteed that there will come a day where I become restless in my circumstances yet again. I must treasure these moments of fulfilled desires while remaining on guard for future discontentment that will most certainly arise.
My heart is prone to want the next season long before it’s time. I’m prone to wander down paths of comparison and envy. I’m prone to assume I know what is best. I’m prone to resist God’s will.
So here and now, I choose to remember that my joy isn’t in my surroundings but in knowing Christ. Here’s the amazing thing: no matter where I am or what the craziness of my life looks like, God remains the same.
He is my constant.
He is my always.
He is my unchangeable Father.
Dear friend, if you are his, he is all those things for you as well.
You may be swimming against the current of your life right now, or climbing a mountain of a problem. This summer we traveled to the ocean. I was amazed at how different it was each day. One day, the waves were calm and easy, the next day the current pulled hard and the waves were rough. In the mountains of Colorado, in a matter of minutes the weather can change from cold and rainy to hot and sunny.
Remember this: life changes so quickly.
Whatever you’re going through, it will not last forever. This includes joyful seasons, too. That is why it’s so important to find our joy in God alone. Contentment is found only in him. No circumstance will remain. We want the good times to last forever and the hard times to go in a flash. But that is not how reality works. We must be prepared for hard trials and difficult circumstances. Our feet must be planted in the Lord.
Count 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. (James 1:2-4 ESV)
James says “when you meet trials” for a reason. We will all have hard times. So be ready, friends. This doesn’t mean we should fearfully wait for the trial lurking around the corner. Rather, we prepare for trials when we make it a habit to find our joy in the Lord.
…the joy of the LORD is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10b ESV)
The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation. (Psalm 118:14 ESV)
Are you in a beautiful season right now? Cling to him. Every gift you have is from him (James 1:17). Don’t place your hope in your circumstances. They fade as quickly as the grass. Put your hope in God alone, and be ready and willing to face the coming days with his strength.
Are you buried in your burdens? Cling to him. Take your eyes off of your pain and focus in on the only Healer of your heart. Find joy in knowing him. He is your strength and your song. He is your salvation. Though I don’t know what you’re facing, I know that your salvation is enough to cause your heart to be joyful for all of eternity. Dwell on that. And know that you will not be here forever. He will bring you through it as his daughter, refined by his grace.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. (2 Corinthians 4:17 ESV)
Oh, how the trials of life weigh us down. But take heart sisters, our Lord is holding the joy we crave in his hands and he beckons us to come spend time with him. Will you seek his face?
My prayer for you today:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13 ESV)