Take your pick

Life is a funny thing.  It is filled with amazing moments that just give you goosebumps, but it is also filled with equally amazing hurt.  We are subjected to tragedy that literally breaks our hearts, our already fragile hearts.  I have been reading in the book of Genesis to start the year (aren’t we all?) and one of the things I have rediscovered is that since that moment when our ancestors, the keepers of our DNA of selfishness, decided they really wanted to be gods of their own, the human heart has been made of fragile mush.  We rise and fall with joy and failure.  The roller-coaster is tossing us back and forth, taking with it our fragile mushy hearts.

Through my own experience with hurt and failure, I have come to realize that we really have two choices.  We can live our lives on the roller-coaster letting life dictate our mood and emotional aptitude or we can trust in the promises of God for what will be the greatest, most joyous ride of our lives.  Have you really thought about it?  How much we let circumstantial uncertainty rule our lives, even though we have been promised that it will ALWAYS be present in our lives?

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

There were times in 2009 that I wallowed in my pain.  Totally ignoring Jesus’ words in John sixteen “But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” Do you know the promises that lie in that five word statement?  We have a choice!  We are not like those who aren’t familiar with Jesus Christ.  We can choose hope.  We can choose joy.  We can choose Christ!  Even though as Humanity we have chosen this life apart from God’s perfect plan for our lives, He still has the ability to overcome that!  He can change our mourning into dancing.  He can take our brokenness and transform it into hope for us and for those who hear what He has done for us. Mark Batterson says in Wild Goose Chase, “We can’t control what happens to us.  But we can control our response.”

Mark likes to say that “God wants us to go where He wants us to go more than we want to go where He wants us to go!” Translation: He has WAY MORE invested in us than we could ever have.  He has huge plans for us, the question is, how bad do we want it?  In Goose Chase, Mark says, You have to quit trying to write your own story.  And you need to accept Jesus not only as Lord and Savior but also as Author. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we do know how it all ends.  We are too attached to this Americanized version of God’s plan that we have bought into and really need to trust Him to make something useful and beautiful out of our brokenness.

Do I wish I was less familiar with pain?  Absolutely.  So does God.  But I take comfort in knowing that He has been where I now find myself.  He experienced more pain and hate in His life than I will ever know.  And he did it all for me.  What can I do for Him?

I want to really let Him use me and my pain for joy…

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