Have you ever wanted to press pause on a situation in life, maybe it was so good and you wanted to freeze frame it for a bit or maybe it was so bad that you wish you could pause, rewind and start over. I know this has happened to me in both scenarios, like the perfect date night, I never want those to end. Or perhaps an argument, sometimes I wish I could go back and say and do things differently. That is kind of what life with Christ is like, the good times are like walking in step with Him. The bad times, although they stink, you do get a do-over. However, it is sometimes not just as easy as pressing pause. You have to put some work and effort into it, sometimes you have to ask for forgiveness, sometimes you have to be the one to forgive. The outcome however is just like a do-over, He sets your feet up on solid ground so you can get a fresh step ahead. These are the times that shape you.
I have been seeing and hearing everywhere about how we are shaped in the trials of life, while the valleys are low they are where we learn the most. I think that unfortunately you can’t learn that concept until you walk it. There are many things that happen in life that we just can’t possibly understand, like cancer. It goes for everyone, it is so difficult to understand. However, take my Dad’s diagnosis for example, simply because he’s mine and I can talk about him. 😉
On August 1, 2013, he was healthy, doing everything he had always done. On September 1, 2013, he was a cancer patient with terminal cancer. That is a big swing in life, it was hard. The day we all met at the hospital to learn about the severity of his sickness, my sisters, our spouses and our pastor and his wife were in the room. The thing I remember the most about the conversation is not that he was being diagnosed with a cancer that never goes away, the thing I remember are the words our pastor spoke. He said I have never felt the Holy Spirit so present as he had in that moment we all shared together that day, I was a bit taken back because the feeling we felt that day was very normal to me. I think that may have been the beginning of something in me and I didn’t even know it. See, the blow of cancer came on all of us, we all had so much going on in our personal lives, this was just another ‘why us’ moment for each of us. However, Jesus embraced us all as we learned that our Dad was at peace with His life. He called in his brother to mend any broken-ness in their relationship. He was okay with this, while we were just present, so was the divine. It was such a special moment, God ordained it.
That began something in us all and we didn’t even know it, we were in the valley but we weren’t alone. We were being shaped into new people, better people. While we were a close family then, this only brought us even closer. My sisters and I began a new bond, we each took on new roles in our family as we all navigated this together. It was of course not easy and not always pleasant, but shaping never is. Learning to do life in new ways is hard, no one wants to think they need to change. However, we all have to be able to bend and be shaped into new and better things.
I think that is the key, we all have to be willing to notice and hear that sometimes there is just a better way. We can’t get stuck in routine, life is not meant to be routine. It is meant to challenge us and push our thresholds in new and fantastic ways. God has used this trial in life to shape us into different people because we let Him, we had to. Doors have opened, our eyes have been opened. We are being shaped into better people, the valley was rough, but the mountain top is worth every step.
While we are majorly blessed to still be on earth with our Dad, we get to enjoy this miracle that God has given to us. We are keenly aware that this is not the case for everyone and that everyday is a gift to each of us. Whether you have been impacted by a sickness in your life or not, each day of life that you are alive and well is a gift from God. It should not be treated any less than that, so press pause for just a second today and embrace all of your blessings, thank God for each and every one! And, remember that the trials of this life are temporary, the hardest thing you are facing right now is shaping you into a better version of you. Take joy in that. Count your blessings not your hardships. Focus on the good, drown out the negative. If you don’t, it will only rob you of all the good things you have going on, if you are able to sit at a device and read this then you are a blessed person. Don’t take his love and mercy for granted for one more second.
May God Bless you and every step you take today!