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I reconnected with…

September 4, 2007

an old friend tonight. In the cleaning of my desk adventure, rediscovering that the top of the desk is brown, I found her phone number scribbled on a hot pink sticky note. It has been just over two years since we spoke. Talking with her was like finishing a good book, watching the sequel and being glad you bought the ticket, or finishing up the yummy leftovers from a fine restaurant meal.

Hearing her relate how God has worked and blessed in her life, how provision has been made, how obstacles have been overcome, how grace has been powerfully displayed through trial is all immensely encouraging. This is a true outworking of mutual strengthening and encouragement in the body of Christ amongst believers. We have confidence in our God that though apart, though not in constant communication, that God’s glorious purposes will be fulfilled in our separate but unified in Him lives.

The conversation put me in mind of Acts 14:22 where Paul and Barnabas gave seemingly odd encouragement to the believers in Antioch:

“…strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’ they said.”

When I studied this a few years ago it really struck me that Paul and Barnabas encouraged the believers by telling them of many hardships! Usually you think that encouragement comes only in the rah! rah! pep talks of “You go, girl!” and the like.

God’s Word doesn’t take the usual way. He really means it when He says that His thoughts and ways are not like ours. I like to be a fixer of things. Husband calls with a dilemma, and I begin to scheme how to fix it. Yes, for him, but just as selfishly for myself so that I don’t have to deal with the fore, during and aftermath. The same thing can happen with other family members and friends. I want it done easy, done quickly and done without a bunch of hoo haa.

God likes hoo haa. At least the hoo haa that demonstrates the glory of His name, the mighty arm of His power, the amazing faithfulness of His relationship to His covenant people, and the perfect lovingkindness of His work. And Almighty God is not limited to the time constraints, the measly fix it solutions, or the small faith of His frail sheep.

Instead, be strengthened and encouraged in your faith to know and count on that true believers must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God perfect and pure vessels, refined shining as gold servants, jewels for His crown.

O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you. Psalm 84:12

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2007 6:17 am

    Such an encouraging reminder for me (and I know will be for another reader of yours, my friend Dorothy).

    The hoo ha is what He uses to grow us up in grace and truth, isn’t it? Meditating upon His infinite wisdom and unfathomable loving kindness helps us not just “get through” but “receive all” that He has planned for us!

    Love coming here and having my mind renewed and refreshed, Elle.

  2. September 5, 2007 8:45 am

    “but just as selfishly for myself so that I don’t have to deal with the fore, during and aftermath. The same thing can happen with other family members and friends. I want it done easy, done quickly and done without a bunch of hoo haa.”

    OH, that hit home! Being the fix-it queen over here, I have to really watch myself and take a huge step back and let God be God in other people’s lives!

    Thanks for the reminder Elle!

  3. September 5, 2007 10:20 am

    Yes, thank you, Elle, for such a good and truthful word. I’m a fixer girl too, and can see in hindsight that I’ve missed many opportunities for Him to teach me something because I persisted in slapping my own fix-it bandaid on the situation rather than walking in obedience through the hoo-haa.

  4. September 5, 2007 10:23 am

    Amen Elle. To add to the idea that God’s way is not our way, in the midst of all the hard stuff He wants us to count it all joy! That’s sure not the worlds way, or my way. Blessings on you

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