Ten'ish short months ago we said goodbye to summer and started this new school journey with a challenge to think about what the time ahead would look like and how God would use it to propel us forward. Can I be honest with you here? It looked nothing like I thought it would.
There has been much frustration, anguish, confusion, depression, and giving up. Having expectations can be dangerous things in all aspects of life because of the effects when they are not met, but not knowing what to expect can take you to places where only fear and doubt dwell.
The best thing in these times is prayer for eyes to see beyond what you alone are able.
"Just because the outcome is not what you wanted, it doesn't necessarily mean you made the wrong choice." D. Crandall
If you look back on the past ten months and wonder where the time went or how you find yourself where you are without much to show for it, I feel you. You are not alone.
A few weeks ago Zach and I went to an estate sale at a beautiful old house in Oxford, our little blip on the map. For those who know me, you know that that experience is one of my happy places. I love rescuing the old, giving it new purpose, but there was a sadness that crept over me as I walked amongst this house with all of its treasures left behind and the words of Ecclesiastes came flooding back into my heart.
"God gives a person riches, wealth, and honor so that he lacks nothing of all he desires for himself. but God does not allow him to enjoy them. Instead, a stranger will enjoy them." Ecc. 6:2
I did not know the people who lived here and I do not know their hearts or how they lived their lives. I am not saying that they did not find pleasure in the beauty they had collected or that they didn't know where true joy came from. But what is true is that when they left this earth none of their belongings went with them and while the possessions themselves did last in a physical sense--well some of them, there were plenty of piles of broken items lost in the corners--in a spiritual sense their meaning was lost with the memory of the owner. A stranger will now enjoy them, this stranger in particular, and impart new memory and have a new pleasure and in the end the cycle will continue.
But in this there is beauty, because as we see the finite of ourselves, we are reminded of the infinite God we have.
Nothing we produce lasts, it just doesn't. No matter how hard we try to make ourselves known it is futile, but take heart, because there is something that lasts.
"Everything God does will last forever, there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of him." Ecc. 3:14
Everything God does will last forever and guess what one thing is that he did? He created you. And not only did He create you, but He uses the Spirit of His Son to work through you, to touch the lives of others, to be the hands and feet of Jesus here on Earth, to, as James says, be doers of the word and make your faith known by your works through action.
It's easy to let what didn't happen cause you to get lost in the disappointments, confusions, and seeming failures. If you look back on the past ten months and wonder where the time went or how you find yourself where you are without much to show for it, look again, with different eyes.
I have had the honor these last ten months to watch a child grow in maturity in Christ so much he can see the tangible results, watch a friend find a job she is passionate about and bless countless lives in our community, watch a woman cling to Christ at the ending of her marriage and a couple begin a new life together that will bring a father and mother to the life of a son. I can keep going, and if you look, I bet you can too.
God's promise has not changed. He promised in the beginning, way back in Genesis 28:15 that behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.
"If you delight in the fact that you are God's, you CANNOT be disappointed in how He's using you." ~Ryan Johnson
Praying you see your place in this Truth today, pray for me.