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Monday, January 24, 2011

The Learning Curve

"Blessed are those who have learned (emphasis mine) to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord." ~Psalm 89:15

I just wanted to share something that the Lord spoke to me during my quiet time this morning. Before I do, I saw a church sign today that says, "The Bible is neither an antique or modern: it's eternal." Amen! I love how God's Word speaks to me/us today and that it's not just for days long ago. It doesn't change. The same truth that was written thousands of years ago is the same truth that applies to our lives today. No matter how the current culture tries to make it fit into today's society & morals.

I had formerly read the above mentioned verse from Psalms and had noted in my Bible that acclaiming God doesn't come naturally, but as we grow in the Lord. I thought about that a little bit today. What does it mean to have learned to acclaim God? There are two types of Christians. There are those who will walk through trials that God allows and come out the same people, turn away from God altogether, or become bitter. Then there are those who walk through trials that God allows and will draw nearer to Him. Those are the people who learn to acclaim God. It's not easy. I have walked through personal trials lately (ones that only me and the Lord know about). I have suffered (some because of my own selfishness & some because of actions of another) and God is teaching me a lot. It's not fun and sometimes I fight what He's trying to teach me, but I have gotten to a point where I have surrendered that person/situation to God. Honestly, He is doing beautiful things right now through it.

George and I have known suffering over the last 3 or so years in regards to our children. I will tell you that God taught me how to praise Him through it. It doesn't come naturally to want to praise God when you are experiencing the death of a child through miscarriage or you are watching your two daughters fighting for their lives and you can't even touch them. What comes naturally is my selfish response of, "Why me? Why did you have to take my child after we've been trying to get pregnant for so long? Why couldn't you have given us the miracle of healing Hannah's difficulties in the womb?" No one has to teach me those responses because I am born a selfish sinner.

When I am born into Christ though, I need a dose of suffering (which Jesus says we will all experience in John 16:33) to teach me to praise God and conform me to the image of Christ. James 1:2-4 says,

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kids, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything."

I'm not saying that I welcome suffering because I don't...at all. I guess the thing that really spoke to me this morning was that God blesses those who consciously decide to praise Him in the midst of suffering.

More to come later this week on how God is currently pouring out His blessings on our family...

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