I hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends. From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry. We call them our "Friday Friends." So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our "Friday Friend", Angela Craig.
Song of Songs 2:11-12 (NIV): “See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come.”
Friend to Friend
For many of us, winter can be a challenging time of the year. Winter brings darkness, cold and flu season, as well as inclement weather. As I write this letter to you on the first day of March, I am looking out the window at piles of snow and wondering if my children will ever have a full week of school again. Personally, I thrive on a stable schedule and a secure world, so this winter of extra-ordinary storms and sickness has rocked my ability to remain patient and faithful that spring will ever arrive.
One thing I have discovered is that calamity sends me to the feet of Jesus faster than anything else. Ok, let me be honest. Trials send me chasing after God like a hungry lion after its prey. One day last week, I escaped to a beautiful beach to pray and walk. During my time with God I thanked Him that my winter was not worse, but I wanted Him to tell me why it had been so long, with no reprieve. I wanted Him to show me the ‘lesson’ of this season of darkness. While I was babbling like an immature adolescent, I was interrupted by the words of God when He spoke to Job in chapter 38 responding to Job’s demands that God answer Job’s questions. I heard God speak to me with these words, “"Why do you confuse the issue? Why do you talk without knowing what you're talking about? Pull yourself together, [Angela] Job! Up on your feet! Stand tall! I have some questions for you, and I want some straight answers. Where were you when I created the earth? Tell me, since you know so much” (Job 38:2-4 MSG)! And on He went.
The first thing I realized was that I had been so busy whining and trying to make God the great magician to fix my problems that I couldn’t hear the voice of God or witness the beauty of His creation that surrounded me in the moments that I so desperately needed it. My vision had become so clouded by the delusion of trouble that I had forgotten God’s plan is perfect. The second thing I realized was that my winter of darkness had been nothing more than a series of mere inconveniences compared to the winter of Job’s life.
My friend, God has promised you and me that He will “Grant relief from days of trouble” (Psalm 94:13). Whether your winter is a serious hardship or a mere inconvenience like mine, we can be assured that God loves us and our spring will arrive!
Father, I am so thankful that your love is perfect and unconditional regardless of my sometimes childish nature. What a gift it is that you answer me when I come to you with my questions and uncertainties. I thank you for the depth of relationship that happens between us during times of trial and pray that I never withdraw from you during dark times. Thank you for loving me and understanding me the way that you do!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now it is Your Turn
1) Read God’s response to Job in Chapter 38. What insight did you gain from this discourse?
2) How does this Scripture reading confirm or change the way you will respond to adversity?
3) If you feel that trials test your relationship and faith in God you can be sure you are not alone. Take a moment to pray for a friend who may be struggling in a season of winter. God loves to hear your voice!
More from the girlfriends
We can all relate to Angela’s words today. Our seasons of darkness are as different as we are but all designed to accomplish one thing – total dependence upon God! Take a few moments to stop and refocus. Spring is just ahead!
For more on this topic, see Mary’s book, Hope in the Midst of Depression.
Girlfriends in God
Matthews, NC 28106
Originally published Friday, 23 March 2007.