July 21, 2017
Heaven is Not in a Panic!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, NIV).
Friend to Friend
I will never forget the day I learned how God really can turn tragedy into triumph. I was sitting at my desk, working on an assignment from the counselor I had been seeing. For months, I had been wrestling with my past - slowly, methodically working through painful issues and buried memories that seemed to be feeding the clinical depression I was battling. As page after page filled with harsh realities, a memory slammed into my heart and mind.
The pain was overwhelming as a vile scene from my childhood slowly took shape. I could hardly breathe as I frantically tried to escape the certainty that I had been molested. The perpetrator had been our family doctor and a trusted friend. He had even provided free medical treatment when we couldn’t pay for it. I trusted him, counted on him. As a nurse, my mother worked beside this man every day and often babysat his children to earn extra money.
Anger unlike any I had ever known fueled violent thoughts of revenge and retaliation. I was angry with this man – and angry with God. How could He have let this happen? Where was the light in this dark place?
For months, I worked through painful memories and raging emotions until I saw the first glimmer of light. It was wrapped in chosen forgiveness. I began to see that had I never been wounded so badly, I would never have been able to forgive so freely – and in doing so, discover a depth of healing and freedom only the greatest pain can produce. Today, I can honestly thank God for all He has accomplished in me through the sin of that man.
There are no accidents with God, nor is He surprised by anything or anyone in the life of His child. Heaven is never in a panic. God uses even the most horrendous circumstances for our good and His glory. Every circumstance comes to us for a purpose, bound by God’s love and plan and faithfully delivered with His permission. While we cannot go back and change our past, we can change the way we respond to our past, and determine how much power it has in our lives today.
Only God can take the broken pieces of your life and make something beautiful out of each one. He is waiting for you to let go of your pain and trust Him. And you really can. No one loves you the way He loves you – unconditionally, completely and with no strings attached. Just come as you are.
Father, I choose to believe You are faithful and will do what You promise to do in Your Word. I believe when I lay the pain and hurt of my past at Your feet, You not only can but will transform it all into something beautiful. I choose to believe You will turn the broken places of my life into living illustrations of Your sufficiency and healing power. I trust You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Isaiah 45:3 is one of my favorite life verses. Read it carefully:
And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name (Isaiah 45:3, NLT).
What treasures have you discovered in the dark times of your life? What tragedy has God transformed into a triumph that has changed your life? Praise Him right now for doing so.
More from the Girlfriends
Storms are a reality of life. If you need help facing and dealing with the storms in your life, check out Mary’s CD, Strength for the Storm. (Also available in CD Bible Study and Video download.)
Originally published Friday, 21 July 2017.