Monday, November 4, 2013

Why Every Day's Not a Friday....

I will NEVER forget seeing the title of the book for the first time - Every Day a Friday. What? Friday is when the weekend begins and we can all kick off the responsibility of jobs for a few days and just relax. EVERYTHING is going to be okay! Maybe this author hasn't read the Biblical accounts of Paul, Job, Jeremiah or Jesus...And surely, he doesn't have children. You know, kids don't understand the concept of sleeping late or no responsibility or relaxing. I wanted to remove all the books from the shelves and stomp out the door. I don't know about you but I've seen a lot of suffering in the church and every day is CLEARLY not a Friday.

The sermon at church yesterday centered around God’s plan for suffering in our lives. It was a timely message as I had just been dwelling on why times are so tough for so many people. We have friends who are struggling in their marriages, dealing with devastating losses and fighting for their lives. It is not a season of suffering for us...but that is generally a reminder that we are about to enter into such a time.

As I reflected back on the suffering in our lives, most of it has come in the last twelve years...exactly the time since God called us to begin One Way Ministries...hmmmm. I began to think of the rocky roads in our lives and how God has used EACH one of them for His ultimate glory....

The death of JT’s grandfather who was the bedrock of our family (and showed me what a loving grandfather looked like)...God showed Himself as THE Comforter who gives eternal life to those who believe in Him.

The conviction and imprisonment of my own father to 25 years in a state penitentiary...This was the beginning of the road to knowing God’s amazing love for us as His children. He became the Father that I needed most.

The move away from Canton, Georgia to Birmingham, Alabama to begin the ministry (some of the loss we felt was a direct result of our own pride and arrogance)...God demonstrated His faithfulness time and time again through a job and a house and a new church home.

The death of JT’s grandmother who held the family together...God again showed Himself as the Healer who takes away sickness through His sovereign plan.

The death of JT’s father (the most devastating loss we had ever faced in life)...It took us a while to see God’s plan but now we know that God’s design was good and for His ultimate glory. He demonstrated His love for us and showed us what it was like to be without a Father (leading us to understand the plight of the orphan).

The destruction of our home and worldly goods by a fire in January of 2005...God allowed us to live through “The Lord gives and takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!”

The two year adoption process of Jett and the year that followed (the darkest days for our family as we faced our own fears and misconceptions)...God’s name be praised for the faithfulness and steadfastness He displayed. We can now walk other families through similar circumstances knowing that God’s goodness is at work!

The adoption of Zeke and Elly and the great feelings of loss that it caused all of us. The grieving was so heavy at times and hard to bear... God reminded us of our need for Him and total reliance on Him alone!

The death of JT's mom unexpectedly just two years ago which left us feeling all alone and without any parental guidance or wisdom...God showed Himself as Sustainer and Provider and pointed us to His Word for all wisdom!

There are so many other circumstances I could list (and did on my worship guide this morning). Why God? Why the suffering? Oh, I KNOW the answer...I have lived it. It is for our good and His glory. It is His design to make us more like Him. Do I like it? NO! Do I need it? YES! Suffering makes my life look more like Him and encourages others in their life journey. My walk through difficult times should point others to Christ alone. Oh Lord, find me worthy to suffer for Your name’s sake!

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