We have made it well beyond the halfway point of my husband’s deployment–a point in our journey which really kicks in the whole practicing patience concept. An appropriate comparison would be the repetitive four-word-phrase every parent inevitably hears on a trip: “Are we there yet?”
Side note: I remember one family trip many (dare I say another many) years ago, when my sister and I took great pride in composing a musical rendition of this dreaded phrase with accompanied hand motions, “Are we there yet, are-are we there yet? Are we there yet, are-are we there yet?” I’m sure my parents were thoroughly entertained and thoroughly annoyed. Thank goodness those were the days before Facebook and Youtube or else you might be able to uncover this dreadfully embarrassing moment!
But back to present day and the trial which faces us still.
We have made it up this mountain, and the view from the top is spectacular. As we look back through the difficult months, we wipe the sweat from our brows in victory of the accomplishment of making it so far.
Looking back along the journey from where we stand makes all the hard times seem a little less intimidating. It’s as if now at the top, we can look down at those instances and shake our fists declaring, “I showed you! You didn’t defeat me.”
At the top, we can pause for a moment and breathe in the sweet air of victory, and praise the Lord for being so faithful.
As we regain our strength and look to the other side of the mountain (our upcoming decent), we see the rest of the journey ahead. And while it is downhill the whole way, that doesn’t necessarily make it any less painful or difficult. There are holes and branches that will trip us on our way down. We may take a tumble or two, and sometimes the road may be rocky or steep, but our muscles are strong now. We have adapted to this journey, and our bodies are prepared for the fight.
This deployment was no surprise to God, and the same goes for trial, tragedy, and loss in your life. God certainly doesn’t take joy in watching us suffer, but He uses those sufferings to refine us. Through these trying times we are reshaped and made to reflect more of Christ in us.
God always has a purpose. Our lives are not happenstance. Despite our ability to choose in freewill, God is still sovereign. When we step back and realize that life isn’t about us and our plans but rather about Him, then we stop focusing on the trivial and instead focus on the eternal.
And for all this, I rejoice. Because the God of the universe loves me so much that He would take gentle care to mold and shape me to become more like His perfect Son.
What an amazing God we serve.
So as we begin our downward decent, I will put my hope in the Lord. Not believing that it will be an easy journey or that He would keep us from dangers, but that in His sovereign power, He will be using all the weight of our circumstance to make me more like Christ. And that eternal perspective is far greater and is of far more value than anything I could ever desire on my own.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10