Friday, 18 September 2009

Afraid of the Dark

As a small child I remember begging my mum to leave the light on in my room every night when I was going to sleep. Why? Because I was afraid of the dark. Many people are afraid of the dark and for most the reason is fairly obvious, it’s hard to see in the dark and we don’t know what might be lurking about out put it simply we are generally afraid of the unknown.

As we all know life can be tough and from time to time challenges are thrown our way. For many this can be a very rough and dark patch in our lives. These dark periods come in all sorts of forms. For some it could be a terminal disease, a divorce, a major financial crisis, losing a loved one, parenting a troublesome teenager, losing a job or your home. You may feel discouraged, hurt or anxious because you don’t know what the future holds. You may even find yourself asking why? There’s no simple answer to that but the following insights have helped me and might encourage and help you to get through the difficult and painful times.

James 1:2 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” God wants us to develop perseverance and he will allow trials so that we can grow in our faith. Take for example a guy trying to build his upper body and biceps. He has to spend hours lifting heavy weights over a period of time. It’s not an easy process and he has to endure some pain but in the end he develops his muscles and becomes stronger. I believe that in every situation in our life God will always take the pain and use it for our gain. I know it’s not that easy to count it all joy when you are facing a crisis. I know how hard it can be, I have faced some difficult situations in my life. I lost my father after a short illness at a very young age and I have also faced periods of long term unemployment in my life. During those times I felt helpless and frustrated and a part of me wanted to give up on life but I hung in there and continued to look to God to strengthen me and as a result I became closer to him and my faith was stretched and grew.

I’ve realised that things that cause great pain and frustration to us can be turned around by God to become a blessing to us and/or other people. Although at the time it may not make sense to us, God sees the bigger picture and in all things God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28a) We should walk by faith and trust in God even though we can’t see what lies ahead. I always like to tell people about oysters. Now before your mouth starts watering let me tell you, it’s got nothing to do with food. What I find fascinating about oysters is that when a foreign substance such as sand or seaweed enters its shell it causes painful irritation to the oyster and in response the oyster begins to secrete a substance called nacre onto the foreign substance. Over time this irritant covered in nacre develops into one of the finest gemstones, a pearl. We should therefore look to God to give us strength to endure the trial knowing that, “... weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b)I sincerely hope and pray that as we continue to believe God and trust Him no matter the odds, He will turn our frustrating situations to pearls.

There are things that haven’t come to pass yet in my life and I continue to pray and trust God that as I serve him, love him and walk in obedience to him, he will give me the desires of my heart according to His will and may He do the same in your life IJN.

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