What circumstance in your life right now would you trade if given the chance? I read something in Streams in the Desert this week that caused me to reflect on recent hardship with gratitude. It was about lace spinners in Brussels working in the dark, alone in tiny rooms with only a narrow window to cast light directly on the pattern they are weaving. The beauty and value of the art comes from the darkness in which it was created.
"Sometimes the darkness in our lives is worse, because we cannot even see the web we are weaving or understand what we are doing. Therefore we are unable to see any beauty or any possible good arising from our experience. Yet if we are faithful to forge ahead and we do not give up, someday we will know that the most exquisite work of our lives was done during those days when it was the darkest." Cowman
This month marks one year Danny and I have been on a tough financial journey. We are still on that train, so I can't wax eloquent about how we did it. We are doing it. I can't believe I am saying this, but I wouldn't trade this past year. Oh, there have been dark days. But we are not totally in the dark. God has allowed us glimpses into how He desires to shape us into people He can use. What God is teaching us about Himself, ourselves, money, faith, holding on, I don't think could have been learned any other way. This has been a year of rapid growth. It's like what Job said, "My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you." We may have another year of it. I hope not. But in light of how we have learned to lean, wait and abide; how our kids now view God's faithfulness, the miracles they have observed weekly; I can't really do anything but continue to trust God's purpose in all this.
There are days I beg God for relief. He either brings it physically or he carries my spirit above it. But he has not forsaken me. So I don't think trading the path we have walked this year for one with less thorns and potholes would be a fair trade. We are in the middle of something BIG.
I will give you the treasures of darkness,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
I cannot count how many times this year I have read a passage like this and God has illuminated it right before my eyes. All around me may seem dark, but a tiny crack of trust lets in just enough insight to see with spiritual eyes. Why does God do that?? Why does He go to such lengths to make sure I get it? Because He loves me and he doesn't want me to miss what he is doing in my life. He has something wonderful for us that we have not yet been allowed to see. Why does he hide it away, while we go about our work in the dark? So that when He reveals the blessings along the path, we will will know HE IS THE LORD! This is all about him. It is not about us. It may feel like it is all about us when we are crying and fretting over earthly matters. But every time we calm down enough to dig into His Word we are reminded that we are here for His glory. And if there is one thing my family is learning this year, it is how to sit back and let God make Himself known in us. Wow! When I put it like that, how could I ask Him to stop?