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Thursday, March 2, 2017

When he tests...

“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside." (Job 23:10-11 NLT)
When we are in the thick of things, we probably don't even think God knows what direction we are headed! The chaos of the issues bombarding us on all sides just leaving us with questions, uncertain outcomes, and decisions too numerous for us to even think about some days. We just cannot possibly imagine any other "disaster" that can come our ways, only to be broad-sided by something totally unexpected. Could it just be WE don't know where we are going at the moment, but that God has all things perfectly orchestrated and the outcomes already well under his control?
The key isn't that we know the destination, it is that we stay on course. To be totally transparent here, there have been more than a few times that if God had showed me clearly where it was I was headed before I started, I'd never have started! I would have opted out! I certainly wouldn't have chosen the pathway of single parenting, but when I was faced with that path, I put one foot in front of the other. There were more than enough days where I'd have to admit I didn't think I could do it, but my kids turned out to be pretty doggone great adults - not because of me, but in spite of me and because of God's gracious care over all of us. The times I have faced the uncertainty of losing a job, not knowing how the bills would get paid, or how long we'd be without health insurance between jobs - these weren't easy paths to traverse, but even when the path got a little bumpy and I complained a little more than I probably should have, he was right there with me each step of the way.
If you were to ask me how to make it past a certain catastrophic event in your life, such as the betrayal of a close friend, the unknown of losing a job, or the uncertainty of affording the repairs when the water main pipes breaking twice in one year, I'd have to say it isn't the "course" that matters - it would be the determination of your heart to not veer off-course even when it gets a little harder than you might like. The course isn't the issue - the determination and dedication of our heart is what counts! God knows the path you are on - he knows the end from the beginning. He knows what man intends for your "undoing" can become the greatest opportunity for his "doing"! 
Gold isn't pure when it comes out of the ground. It isn't pure until it is put through the fire. It isn't free of the smallest of particles of impurities that hang onto it for dear life until the fire has changed the consistency of that ore. Did you ever stop to consider just how big the gold ore is when it is mined and how surprisingly small the gold that can be extracted from it comes out to be? It is the path that purifies us - getting at the heart of what really matters in life and how determined we will be to hold onto what matters. Just sayin!