An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Joy Revealed




First Peter is my go-to book of the Bible when I am longing for a reminder of God's good plans. Under the chapter title I have recorded that I am on my sixth reading since last summer, and I am sure that I have referenced it more often than that these many months. They say the days are long but the years are short. Some days seem to never end with grief, but then I look up and try to figure out where a year and a half has gone; a year and a half closer to heaven.

I always tend to stay quite a while in the first couple of paragraphs, relishing Peter's words. I sometimes think of the writers of Scripture and wonder if they had any idea of the plans that God had for their work of recording His words, wonder if they thought those words were futile and if it was really God behind them. Scripture is certainly a living and active work of art; a love letter to God's children. Today I couldn't get past the first sentence before I was in tears, overwhelmed by the thought:

“To God's elect, strangers in the world.”

I woke up yesterday pondering thoughts of joy. As I have persisted, along with others, praying for the return of joy I realized the root of my discontent. My joy had always been based on this world, fixed here on the next project, the next achievement, the next experience. Since Trent has died everything here is now compared to heaven, and nothing can come close to satisfying. A stranger, yes; I am a stranger in this world. I trudge along because I must, performing my tasks but always longing to be “home.”

Alexis recently asked me to pray that God would draw her nearer. I kissed her pretty forehead and told her that I have been for quite some time. She smiled. As I walked away I choked back more tears, remembering my own pleas to be drawn nearer to God; prayers whispered just weeks before the accident.

I know being drawn nearer means being shattered by glory. God rarely ever uses anybody without wounding them first. Not a cruel wounding, but a physicians scalpel that must go deep to save a person's soul. I ask for a gentle drawing nearer for this girl who is already walking closer to her God than I am. I see Him in her. I don't want her wounded. In my flesh I want what the world wants for her: a long life full of happiness and smiles, not growth and pain and depth to cause her to know God more. I hand her over, again~ as if she was ever mine to offer in the first place. I repeat my trust in God's good plans. I allow Him to be God.

Peter says that trials come into our lives so that our faith~ of greater worth than gold~ may be proved genuine and result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:7).

I am not a Bible scholar, but I understand this verse to mean an ultimate glory, not primarily a temporal one that we will see with lights blazing here. God has revealed Himself to be more patient than I am, and perseverance must be of great benefit because often He withholds things for a long time, even the revealing of His glory. We learn to walk by faith, not by sight, as we wait; battling all the while to know what we thought we knew; a constant war-ground where truth must conquer in our lives~ the truth of Scripture.

“Though {I} have not seen Him {Jesus} {I} love him; and even though {I} do not see him now, {I} believe in him and am filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for {I} am receiving the goal of my faith, the salvation of my soul.” 1 Peter 1:8-9

Joy will return. Its depths will not be found in goats and gardens and projects anymore, but in the faithful God who has opened my eyes through suffering and has promised so much more than what I can see here.

4 comments:

Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot) said...

It's time for your second book my friend. A devotional. sending love,
Dalyn

OurCrazyFarm said...

Oh my~ you must be the one who's been praying about that, Dalyn:)) I hear you now, Lord, I hear you!

Brenda said...

:D

Anne said...

I think you wrote this just for me today, Terri. Keep praying please. I think I'll go read 1st Peter now.

Love ya,
Anne