Monday, August 20, 2012

GLORY in that Sunflower

In my many walks recently without the dog by my side, I tend to notice more of my surroundings because I am not distracted.  I have walked many times past a sunflower growing all by itself up and through a crack in the sidewalk.  This is intriguing to me because the usual cluster of sunflowers tend to be in the fields that surround our subdivision.  Right now they are everywhere growing in groups... always with those small faces turned upwards towards the wonderful warm sun!

But this lone sunflower got me thinking about how it had to push through that hard sidewalk to grow up tall all by itself.  And how much more do we have to persevere in our tough circumstances of life to stand tall in the tough times!

If you go through life without any problems, then you are either perfectly blessed or just fooling yourself,  I believe NO ONE goes through this life unscathed.  Problems tend to be an everyday occurrence... some are tougher than others.  Some issues bring us to our knees as well!

I find that when I am that broken, and the rug is ripped out from under me, that GOD'S strength is the ONLY solution for me.  Nothing anyone says, or a friends advice is the healing salve that helps me.  Only my Savior in HIS time heals my wounds.

JAMES talks about perseverance and trials and how we should consider it "pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds." James 1:2  These trials of life will produce a perseverance in us, so that we will become mature in our faith.  That maturity helps us understand that GOD is not a genie in a bottle and that HE answers our prayers in those tough times as HE sees fit.  How difficult for us to understand when we are hurting and experiencing pain!  We are not so patient in our affliction.  We want the pain to end immediately!

With maturity however, you learn to embrace your circumstances.  When I cannot see an end to my pain, I only have one choice left.  That is to reach for, and hold on to, HIS comforting hand... a grace and mercy that will help me stand tall and persevere through anything in this life!  I thank GOD every day that HE stands beside me... with HIS word, HE spurs me on to persevere, to never give up, and to ultimately give HIM the glory for my circumstances, no matter how difficult.  My pain then, is somehow transformed into gratitude!  It is a thanksgiving in a way, for my trials... a glorious realization that HE has HIS hand in my life in a big way.   And because of this realization, I am able to stand tall, just like that sunflower... face turned upwards towards the heavens, smiling with joy!

JAMES: 1:12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that GOD has promised to those who love HIM."

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