No, You Didn't Miss the Boat

Of course you'll encounter trouble.
But behold a God of power 
who can take any evil 
and turn it into a door of hope.
*  Catherine Marshall  *

Let's admit it.

Somewhere along the line we've secretly mused, 'why me?'

Too many spoke the lie that the Christian life included great heapings of lavish prosperity and unlimited health for those who named it and claimed it.  

We figured that 1+1=2 and if we did all the right things then we'd live a fairy tale existence, our marriages would be golden, our families would be untouched by grief, and we'd all be singing 'kumbaya' as we sailed through life with happiness and ease.

Yet we found our own personal pathways strewn with messy heartbreak, seemingly endless losses, and far too many closed doors.  Some seasons looked like a complete train wreck and the specific answers to prayer we yearned for never quite appeared.

And we wondered if we somehow missed the boat.


Not so.

Hebrews 11:35-39 speaks of the parade of New Testament martyrs who encountered destitution, persecution, and grisly, unspeakable deaths. 

Jesus Himself said,' in this world you will have trouble' {John 16:33} and His own torturous crucifixion and the abandonment by many of His own showed that He was not exempt from life's cruelties.

But there is a door of hope.


God specializes in turning our miseries into miracles, our woes into wonders, our disasters into deliverance.  He offers a life-altering comfort right smack dab in the midst of the troubles and the wrongs that have come our way ... so that we in turn can offer hope to the next one down the line.

'Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God'  
{2 Corinthians 1:3-4}.

Emerging from our deepest sorrows, we are able to hold open that door of desperately needed hope to broken, bewildered souls who've been yearning to know that there is a tomorrow.  Our own unique array of personal sufferings invite us to be fully present, listen deeply, empathize fully, and offer authentic hope ... because we know what it's like to be in the pit and we've emerged with a richer song to sing.

Courtesy of the compassion of Jesus Christ.

As I spend this week Zooming with women in ministry around the globe, I am struck once again how bits and pieces of their stories mirror challenges and heartbreaks I've experienced myself.  And all I can do is whisper 'praise You,' because He specializes in restoring and redeeming the years the locusts have eaten {Joel 2:25-27}.

Thank You, Jesus.
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