“25 or 6 to 4”

This morning I was awakened at 3:35 A. M. No, is wasn’t because our worthless dog was barking at the wind (she is not very bright), or because one of the kids was throwing up in the hallway (that has happened more than once in my lifetime), or because I had an emergency phone call in the middle of the night (a job hazard that goes along with being a shepherd to God’s sheep); I just woke up, and couldn’t go back to sleep.

After I rolled over in bed to see what time it was, the wheels began turning in my mind (and they can be rather loud and obnoxious). Dixie and I had to make an important decision this week concerning an issue with the boys, and my brain was ticking off all of the options that we had considered. I know that God is sovereign, I know that He causes “all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose,” and I know that He has promised to “never leave me nor forsake me,” yet sleep still eluded me. I suppose that I was thinking of a C. S. Lewis quote that has been a part of our “refrigerator door theology” for most of our married life: “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

Although the context of Paul’s letter to Timothy may be a little different (Paul was talking about the need for Timothy to live out the Christian life in his ministry), I believe his direction does fit my situation: I need to “fight the good fight of the faith” and “take hold of the eternal life to which [I have been] called” (1 Timothy 6:12). It may take some time for all the emotions to settle down, and it may take years to see the fruit of our decision-making, but it is necessary to trust Christ to work out His purpose in my life and in the life of my family.

Fortunately, the grace which proceeds from the finished work of Christ is sufficient for this need, and with the guidance of God’s inerrant Word, and His providential hand, life will go on, God will be glorified, and we will learn anew what it means to “glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.”

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