Like Game of Thrones has been warning, winter is here. At least in Canada from where I am writing in Starbucks (again) drinking the dark roast Christmas blend. Tall. With room. (For milk not cream). Hello my friend. How are you? I am taking a deep breath right now, here, today and invite you to do the same. I am so amazed at this life we live. With each passing year, I am more convinced that the biggest thing we have to deal with as we get older is loss. Loss has become such a mantra in my life. And the good news? Even in this valley He is with me. I am not afraid.
I often look at other peoples lives (and I do have enough wisdom to not judge their books by the covers… but still) and I use to wonder why am I going through all this loss and they get to live happily ever after. Then this past weekend I realized that every opportunity that God gives us to exercise our faith works for us an eternal reward. 1Peter 1: 7 says “Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.” No wonder James says to count it all joy when you go through hard things. James 1: 2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
In this life we are so focused on the temporal. But it’s the things we don’t see that is eternal. My encouragement to you is to look up! Allow this gift of faith through grace to work for you eternal rewards in precious heavenly currency. Having said that, just a reminder that we should not be camped out in the valley. We WALK through the valley of the shadow of death not stay there indefinitely or build a house there. Just know that while you exercise your faith walking through things, it is working for you an eternal reward.
Look up! Psalm 121 says I will lift up my eyes to the mountains—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. Later in the same Psalm, (in the Amplified translation) the writer uses the word KEEP 6 more times (keep, keeps, keeper – all have the same root word). The word keep in the Hebrew is the word Shawmar (Strongs H8104) and I am attaching a screenshot of the full meaning of the word here.
I hope this makes your heart leap… to even imagine or consider how fierce and overwhelming (in the best possible way) God’s love and grace is for us. For you. For me. Let’s take that deep breath again and open our hearts and our hands to Him and declare with joy: Your will be done. On earth as it is in Heaven.
Bless you today.