Tuesday, September 14, 2010

around the bend- some final thoughts on joy

When I say that I am learning joy I do not mean that I am always happy, but that I am learning to trust the process.

Obviously, my experiences are on such a vastly smaller scale than those who have truly suffered.  But I am experiencing a place of clarity, of looking back and seeing my dark, impossible places, the places where I most did not want to go as a necessary part of the journey, and  my sandals aren't even worn out.

Jesus was a "man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,"
God called Jesus Christ to what seemed unmitigated disaster. Jesus Christ called His disciples to see Him put to death; He led every one of them to the place where their hearts were broken. Jesus Christ's life was an absolute failure from every standpoint but God's. But what seemed failure from man's standpoint was a tremendous triumph from God's, because God's purpose is never man's purpose.  -Oswald Chambers
Just about everyone I know has experienced a Jesus that they do not recognize- a place where they believed surely God would come through for them and He didn't.  "He led every one of them to the place where their hearts were broken."   I am beginning to see the redemption in my broken places, to believe that there is a purpose in it.

Trust- Surrender- Acceptance- Joy . . . these are the things God has taught me in this chapter of my life, it is what makes me look forward with joy to what's around the next bend for our family.
God almost always asks the impossible.  If it is possible, if it is easy, we can almost always be sure that it is the Tempter asking, not God.  God asked Abraham to leave his comfortable home, long after retirement age, go to a strange land with his wife, who was long past childbearing years, and start a family.  He asked Gideon to free his captured people from a vast enemy, far more powerful than the little group of Jews hiding in the mountains. . . .  And Jesus?  What did God ask of Jesus . . .?  Jesus was God, for starters . .. We believe that Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, left the Godhead to come to us.   -Madeleine L'Engle


ali said...

I love all the madeleine l'engle quotes you post. What are some her books that you read?

Fijufic said...

I see joy in many places. Athletics, music, art etc...

It always inspires me.


Jessica said...

Ali, some of my favorites are Walking on Water, the Rock that is Higher, Bright Evening Star, The Irrational Season . . . there are others, I really like her non-fiction. I also am reading a devotional, 40 days with Madeleine L'Engle, that someone gave me and I really like! I'd like to work my way through her fiction books, which I've hardly read any.