My goal was to write in my blog four times a week. That was my goal. This, however, is reality: I have been very busy and have chosen to put other important, necessary things before my blog. And I have chosen to sleep at night rather than staying up in the quiet hours to write.
I love the late, quiet, night hours. My inspiration comes pouring in as the evening stills and the bugs chirp. Night time is my favorite time to be alone, to be introspective, to reflect. Lately, my days have been so full that I haven't taken the time to really think and really wonder. But tonight, I wanted to post one short clothesline conversation that God and I had earlier this week.
This week, while doing my necessary weekly housecleaning, I learned a little about why God allows unpleasant things in our lives. Because I was feeling rather Laura Ingalls Wilder-like, I took all my household rugs outside and draped them over the clothesline. My invalid (I mean invalid as in "recovering from surgery" as opposed to invalid as in "the case of the Florida voter ballots in the 2000 presidential election") dog has been spending much time inside lately and I felt like these rugs needed a good, thorough cleaning. So, after they had been hanging for awhile in the sanitizing sun, I ran inside and got my red broom out of the pantry, held it like a baseball bat, and beat the living daylights out of those rugs. It was fun! And I felt very domestic.
But you know what? Those rugs had a whole lot of dust and dirt in them. And I had to beat them long and hard to get them clean. Every time I whacked them with my broom, dust flew everywhere. Then God stopped me and said, "Sometimes, I have to do that with you."
Let me interpret: Sometimes we are just living our lives, speeding right along, and something terrible and painful happens. We don't know why it happens and we don't like it very much. Usually, though, it is these times when we are feeling "beaten" that God is really "cleaning" us. He uses trials, bumps and bruises to show us that we need Him. He allows hardship so that we will run to Him. Sometimes, our hardships are self-inflicted (the younger brother from the Prodigal Son story), sometimes they are allowed by God for reasons we don't understand (Job), and sometimes things just fall flat for no other reason than sin exists in this world. Whatever the reason, though, these "beatings" often have a way of cleansing us and making us a more clear reflection of Jesus.
So...if it is in the beating that I become clean, shouldn't I see these painful times as an opportunity to grow under the tutelage of the Savior? Probably. But that is oh so hard to remember when the going gets tough--which is why it is so important for me to spend time at His feet now--gathering confidence in His character and in His control. Believing that He is Good all the time. Believing that He is God all the time. And believing that He loves me with a love I cannot fathom.
May God teach me to trust Him more and more. I want to be clean like Him.
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed."
1 Peter 4:12-13