Have you ever felt as if you were invisible or that life is just plain hard? I know what that feels like…
… wondering if the heartache will ease
… questioning if your words and efforts really make a difference
… thinking back to when life just seemed easier
… trying to praise God in moments when He feels so distant
The last few years of my life have been difficult and wonderful at the same time. I have faced some hardships that have really shaken my confidence and experienced some triumphs that left me scratching my head and saying, “I don’t deserve this gift”. In these moments The Lord has shown me that He has been there through it all and is using it to transform me to the image of His Son. I don’t always “feel” that, BUT I do know it to be true.
In September of this past year I was privileged to be a part of the writing team that traveled to Scotland. A few days into our trip we ventured out to the Isle of Mull. We found ourselves in a storybook like setting. Traveling across the island on a one lane road nestled between lush green mountains dotted with sheep and rainbows, I had to pinch myself to see if I was awake or dreaming! As we were taking in the sites on our bus ride, our guide, Ray Hughes, began to tell us wonderful stories of this area. He quickly grabbed my attention when he said,
This made me look closer at my surroundings. There were craggy rocks jutting out of the ocean and the wind was blowing hard over the terrain. This area experiences harsh weather, yet it is stunningly beautiful! Gang, I’m here to tell you this stopped me in my tracks. The Lord began to impress on me that I was just like this land. He is using the wind and rain of life to engrave His thoughts on me. Oh! What beautiful thoughts they are! Thoughts that tell me I am His (Romans 14:8), that I am seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6), I am loved (John 3:16), forgiven (Ephesians 4:32), and God has a plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11). So there I sat unwrapping this gift that God had just shown me and wondered what I was going to do with it. Do you know what I quickly found out that you do with a gift? You say thank you and enjoy it! So that’s just what I did. I sat there enjoying God’s company in such a beautiful place that He had made through difficult weather. He was doing the same thing in me, making something beautiful from the wind and rain of life I encounter.
Now don’t get me wrong. I still have questions and I still have difficult days, but I have hope smack dab right in the middle of the difficulty. You and I have purpose, value and meaning. We are not just spinning our wheels. No matter if you are having a mountain top experience right now or a hard time in the valley, God is using it all! Let’s praise Him when life is good, and let’s praise Him when life is pressing. He is carving beautiful thoughts into us. Now let’s put those thoughts into our writing and be a reflection of Him to the world! Never give up. God has a wonderful plan and we get to be a part of it!
Writer, Traveler, and lover of Jesus!