A friend wrote me tonight and it got me thinking. Thinking. In my closet.
Thinking about that verse again in John.
If only we could see what God sees...then I truly believe we would see the trouble...as a gift.
Yes. A gift.
I can still hear the pounding of the waves at the Oregon Coast. Dean and the kids all sitting by the fire...and I walked to the ocean. I could feel my heart skip a beat as I got closer to its roar. Oh...the ocean holds a special place in my heart. I...can't...quite...explain it. I can feel His presence there.
I walked close to the water and I said out loud..."It's so hard. It's so...very...hard".
And I heard Him speak.
"Oh Janice...". I knew it was my Father's voice. I could hear it so loud...I couldn't tell if it was audible or not. Somehow it was louder than the roar of the ocean....yet quiet like a soft whisper that was anything but startling.
"Oh Janice...I have great things for you..."
Great things. Did you hear that? He has great things for me...!
And then I knew there was more. It was like I had stopped Him mid sentence and he was letting me wander off ... but there was more. So much more.
"Great sacrifice. Great surrender. Great reward."
I don't see sacrifice as "great" in that way. It's GREAT as in it's huge and it's oh...so very hard. But GREAT? That's the kind of great things You have...?
Great surrender...? Wait...haven't I already surrendered...? There's more.
Oh...so much more.
Yes. Great things.
My mind still goes to Jonah 2:8. When we were battling with God...about adopting Zihao 2 years ago. "Not us. Not now. No....not us" and we were praying so desperately for clarity. And I laughed as I heard Him quietly say I was to read Jonah. Jonah? We all know the story of Jonah!! What was He going to give me there...?
Those who cling to worthless idols...forfeit the grace that could be theirs....
There's so much more He has for us in surrender. No clinging to what we feel is it....letting go and surrendering to Him.
In doing that...the "grace that could be ours"...
I don't know for sure what that is...but I do know I don't want to forfeit it.
I love verse 9.
But I, with a song of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.
Great things. Could His gift of 'great things' be found in the trouble...?
28 days in the heart of Africa. Losing our precious baby. The grief. The devastation. The sorrow...I still can't talk about without crying...
Those 28 days changed me. Turned me to Jesus like I never knew. He was all I had. And His presence was almost tangible.
Peace. Trouble. Overcome.
He does have great things for you. In the middle of the fire...I know all too well...it looks anything but great. But He sees the end. He knows how the fire can change you. Can mold you. Can bring you closer to Him.
Great sacrifice. Great surrender.
But don't miss the end...great reward.