Monday, December 27, 2010

When Nothing Seems Right

My friend, Doreen, sat with me over lunch last week and shared that as she read the early chapters of Luke, it struck her that nothing was “right” in the Christmas story. A young couple was about to deliver their first child, conceived before their wedding vows were given. Knowing that the birth could occur at any moment, they traveled a great distance with Mary riding a donkey. THAT had to be pleasant! Trusting in God for their provision, when the couple arrived at their destination they found no place to stay and had to settle in a manger. You know the story, and as you think through it one last time before turning your calendar to 2011, I think you will agree that there was not much going right for this family.

Have you ever been there? Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t catch a break? Like somehow God turned His back on your needs? When disappointment came in waves, have you felt like one more let down was going to be the end of your sanity? Or your hope?

2010 was a trying year for the McIntosh family, particularly the last 6 months. I have, indeed, felt like we couldn’t catch a break and that I was ill equipped to handle one more disappointment. I felt like quitting and, truth be told, there was a day when I did quit. Thankfully my merciful Father in heaven reminded me of His call on my life and I quickly un-quit. (I am struck down but not destroyed! 2 Cor 4:7-9)

Doreen’s words soaked into my spirit with refreshing encouragement that day. Sometimes when things seem the most upside down, the Lord is preparing us for something wonderful. We can rarely see what lies ahead, but we can trust in Him and know that our hope is secure. After all, the victory is already His!

When I returned from lunch with Doreen, I sat at my desk and opened a few e-mails. I received this reminder from someone that I consider a friend although we’ve never met:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Honestly, isn’t God amazing? The way He orchestrates people in our lives to support us when they don’t even realize it, and how He reveals His loving mercy to us is nearly more than I can bear.

When nothing in my life feels right, I will trust in Him and receive His joy and peace. I will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. I fervently pray that you will do the same.

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