I’ve had a lot of moments in life where I’ve experienced something confusing, heartbreaking, upsetting, unsettling, or problematic- because, yes, that’s life and who hasn’t experienced these things?? We are always told to try to look for the silver lining; the lesson in the pain. To take what life deals and turn lemons to lemonade. To see the beauty from the ashes.
And while I completely agree with many of those statements (you alone have the power over the attitude you choose in any situation), there is something else that dawned on me a few days ago when I was having coffee with a dear friend. We were talking about seasons in life, how some relationships are only temporary, and about boundaries. As we mused about finding the lesson in the confusing things, or the purpose for the moments that just don’t seem to make any sense, it hit me:
Maybe, just maybe, the lesson isn’t for ourselves…
God is in the business of using us in other’s lives. Quite frankly, you don’t know what the other person is going through at a heart level…we only see what they allow us to see. Being used by God means that not only is He working on your soul, but He’s using you to work on others as well. You might just be the very person that God uses to bring a turn-around for someone else…and you will never know about it in this lifetime.
When you lay your rights down, your need for validation and victory, your stubborn will, He takes those sacrifices and uses them for His glory and our good- every time. He never takes us through something that doesn’t leave us a better version of ourselves on the other side.
But that’s faith. Trusting that when it doesn’t make sense, God’s plan is better. That He’s using you for His purposes here on earth, and there are times that we might never learn the outcome or the answer. He doesn’t leave you hanging in your pain or doubt. He is always faithful, and always keeps His promises. But the challenge comes in the knowledge that when you make that decision to give Him total control, your life is about to be one heck of a ride.
I am learning the blessing of trust and grace every day. Just as my friend and I discussed over our lattes, it is good to let God work out the things in life that have wounded us, emotionally and spiritually. Choosing to let the answers be unknown. And hanging on to the promise that if we are open to being used by Him for His will, then all of those confusing, unresolved things have a bigger purpose. It’s a privilege to let God work, and humbling to know that He uses us, despite our flaws, our failures, and our wavering allegiance.
It’s hard sometimes to swallow that truth. I just want to know NOW. Questions like: Why did that relationship end so badly? Why did that person have to die so tragically? What was the purpose for the cancer? We don’t like loose ends. We prefer neatly tied packages that fit perfectly into our skewed picture perceived as “life”. Just like a toddler learning about the great big world around her, we keep grasping for that illusive “Why?!”
Maybe we’re supposed to learn a lesson, or maybe we’re just supposed to say, “Not sure what that was all about, Lord, but I trust You.” Give it all to Him today.