I think that I’m fairly normal. I doubt that when compared to most, I would be found “highly unusual” or “extraordinary.” I like comfort. I enjoy success. I even appreciate frivolous novelties at times. To put it quite simply… I like to be happy and I like to have what I desire – when and how I want it. Isn’t that very typical though? Honestly, who DOESN’T like such things?
The last several months have ushered in so much change for my family. GOOD change – blessings, really. We are very happy. Unfortunately, I also know many people who have experienced many trials and hardships in the same months. Life isn’t fair and sometimes, I cringe and hold my breath. It makes me wonder when the bottom will drop out for my family.
Ordinarily, this is where I would write about having faith and trusting in God*. He will see me through any hardships if I lean into Him. And this is true! However, I feel like the Lord has been challenging me to go even deeper and further in my walk than only trusting Him to get me out of hard times. Beyond that, He is encouraging me to press into the trials. He wants to cultivate and grow the fruits of the Spirit within me through the hard seasons.
Don’t draw back. Take the opportunity to press into the trials.
The Bible often uses farming or gardening analogies. It mentions seeds, growth, watering, cultivation, pruning, fruit, harvest, etc. This is because many of the gifts of God are not fully developed until we grow through a process. He gives us seeds and provides us with opportunities to grow those seeds into fruit. For example, in many instances, God has not given me the perfected gift of patience, rather, He has given me the ability to choose to act patiently in a variety of situations. Through pressing in and practicing patience, it may be perfected in me.
Many trials and hardships in life are opportunities for me (for us!) to press INTO the trial and allow it to weed out all of the ungodliness still within me (and us.)
They are moments of divine pruning.
I used to view pruning as simply snipping a few twigs off of a branch, but truly, pruning is often a chopping off – even to the very root of the plant – so that the dead parts are removed and new life can come forth.
In the painful seasons, so often the resounding question is “Why?” I don’t fully understand the answer to that question, but I do know two things: 1) we live in a sinful and broken world and daily experience the consequences of sin and 2) God has a higher purpose that often times is beyond our immediate comprehension. In light of that, my goal in those moments is…
- to press into the pain of a trial to make me more like Christ
- to press into Him so that He can prune me of everything that hinders Him in my heart
- to press into hard situations so that the fruits of the Holy Spirit may grow in my heart
Even in the confusing and painful times, I want to trust the One who has planned my life from the very origin of time. He knew each of us intimately then, before we were even formed, and He knows us intimately now. He is only interested in our good – thought that doesn’t always mean that things will be easy or pleasant. However, I know that He can be trusted.
I can trust the Planner of my life.
Therefore, in the good seasons and in the bad, I have come to one conclusion… it is well with my soul, for He is making all things new.
*If you feel that you do not have this hope that I speak of, that you don’t know what this life is all about or what you were created for, or if you simply want to dialogue more about it, please send me a message. I’d love to chat with you!
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