"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was greater than the risk it took to bloom." Anais Nin
There is always great risk in becoming honest with yourself and the people around you. It's almost like this self-preservation thing we have as people, that we want to make sure that everything around us is okay all the time, or at least appear that way. However, the Lord desires us to be far more than that. Staying in the bud is not what He wants; He wants to see us grow into the women and men He has called us to be. He wants us to live a life FULLY ALIVE.
"The thief comes to steal and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10
We can so easily be bound by our lack of honesty & realness with ourselves and others that we limit the freedom the Lord desires for us. The enemy wants us to not fully experience things, and learn and grow from them. He wants to steal our joy. He wants us to patch over the "not-so-fun parts" and move on, not learn, and thus lean in to the Lord. Last night at church for First Wednesday we talked about something very similar. "When our character is right our destiny will find us."...
In Genesis 39, Joseph was imprisoned based upon a lie. However, the Lord knew the potential for Joseph, the great call for his life. He knew this time of trial would be worked for good, for His glory. The Lord was WITH Joseph the entire time; the Lord never lifted His blessing from him. Joseph very well could have "wasted" this time in prison, not pressing in and seeking the Lord, which often we do. But the Lord so desperately wants us to know that there is so much more than our circumstances reveal.
We went on to Romans 5:3..."glory in tribulation". Rejoicing in our trials because of what it will develop. The Lord desires for us to grow in character more than move us from our circumstances. Tribulation produces perseverance, which often requires a "waiting period" for us. Like Pastor Brandon said last night, patience is not just bearing, and probably still being frustrated, but patience is waiting with contentment, keeping your heart right. That doesn't mean our circumstances will cease, we will still have to fight through (with the Lord's strength), that's the perseverance. Much like we do in this process, Joseph got selfish while he was in prison. He tried to manipulate his way to get out, to "get free" of the process before the Lord had him too (we all try this, right?!). The Lord's timing, however, is perfect. Joseph's character at that moment could not have supported the destiny the Lord was calling him too. Wow.
Trials and the "not now's" are not holding us back. They are preparing us. Equipping us for our call, for the life he designed specifically, tailored to each of us. Intentionally assessing ourselves, evaluating & comparing it to the cross will only benefit us; it will make us more like Him!! How great is that? I rejoice that the Lord knows more and best. We don't want to cheat ourselves from the FULL blessing and FULL life He has for us by being out of step with His will, His timing. The peace that comes with being right where He wants, trials or not, is indispensable.
Learning to take in every single thing right where I am, and thanking the Lord for what He has dealt me in the process. Whew.