“p.s.” is a tool that I definitely take advantage of quite often. It’s also one that I want to use today for the post I shared yesterday entitled “different”. (To reference it, here ya go… “different” )
When I finished the post yesterday, it just didn’t feel finished. At all. I was NOT trying to write of platitudes, but gut level acceptance of life that was “different” than what I’d hoped for, and yet even though what I was thinking was pretty down-to-earth gut-level realistic in my mind, I don’t think it translated into words on the page. So here’s a little post script, an addendum, a “p.s.” for a some clarity.
I got the clarity as I was reading some verses this morning. James 1:2-4 says “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
I guess in this ‘walk of life’, we have take-aways. We gain something from experiences. We can gain the good…learn the lessons, grow up…and let the loss ADD beauty in other areas of our lives. Or, we can gain bitterness and fight the ‘different’ spot where our feet have landed. Or, we can do a dance of both.
These flowers were a ‘take-away’ from my walk at the river yesterday. Tanner and I both thought they looked like a mix between azaleas and honey suckle. They were wild and overgrown and beautiful and are now on our kitchen table. They were a sweet, fragrant take-away from our walk.
And now…they are adding beauty to the kitchen for a time. They won’t just bless me, they’ll hopefully be a little reminder of beauty to whoever comes in the kitchen and sees them.
..and that’s what I was trying to say in the post yesterday about how when life is “different” than we had imagined, well, we can always find gifts, take-aways, things of beauty that ADD to our lives rather than take-away.
Acceptance – might just be being willing to hold onto the little lessons and actually even display them in our lives in due time. It might just be to not be afraid of them, but celebrate them as a centerpiece to be learned from…and shared with others. Count it all joy? That’s what the Bible says. The beautiful, the not so beautiful, the expected, the unexpected, the different…ALL are to be counted as joy.
Why? Why can we count them as joy? Because of amazing hope that is so beyond what we can imagine. Ephesians 3:14-20 is amazing. It really is. It’s a picture of faith,hope, and love colliding through a heart grounded in a relationship with Christ. It says, ”
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
I believe God can and will do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” as we ask Him to, but it might not come in the ways we had imagined. Gifts that God uses to grow us up can be come in packages that look a lot ‘different’. But when we know that our hope, our bottom line ultimate hope is in Him and not in the day to day circumstances that change, well, we can ask God to use even the most ‘different’ of gifts in our lives. And I have a feeling He will.
Oh, and one more “p.s.” Have to share this verse: “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 All things. All joy. Count it all.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17