My mentor always said that he was a supremely blessed man. This doesn’t mean that he didn’t have his heartaches. He had his frustrations, grievances and hardships too. He had it all, but he endured it all with the hope and joy that He found in Jesus. This is one of the things that I admired about him; He was strong in his convictions, living them right up to the very end of his life. It was Chuck’s fired up faith and kindness that lead me to pray for a more intimate walk with God.
Blessings often are life’s bitter pills. (Matthew 5:1-12) This seems backwards, but I’ve heard it said that God works in reverse. More than this, I’ve experienced it. A good example would be when I’ve received verse or understanding after I could have really used it–that is, after I’d already made an error that I wished I’d never made. Nevertheless, we learn so much more from our mistakes. In fact all of life’s challenges can be character builders.
If we had it our way, life would never throw us lemons. However, God allows life’s lemons to teach and mature us, turning us into something far sweeter than lemonade. On the flip side, if we allow bitterness in our struggles we can go the opposite direction and detach from the tree. We must remain attached to mature.
I’m supremely blessed too. I know that Jesus is working everything for my good, especially through those things that make us want to insist that He isn’t being fair. Clinging to the Branch through every gale force wind makes us stronger and more fruitful, even causing us to grow in peace. Now that’s a hopeful and joyful thought.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”–Jeremiah 17:7-8 English Standard Version (ESV)
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