Hello Corinthian's Corner family! This week we are excited to introduce our newest writer Stacey. We love Stacey's relatable takes on Christian life and her reflections on the many (often overlooked) ways in which God plays a role in our lives.
We hope you will enjoy her regular features, and join us for a a smile, a tear, and a laugh.
How are your lines today?
“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup. You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. Indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” Psalm 16:5-6
My lines haven’t felt very pleasant the last few months. It's been a whirlwind of changes, some good and others heartbreaking. In September, my husband and I decided to retire and sold our home. In early November, my dad had a massive stroke. At the end of the month, he passed away. The baby we’ve fostered for two and a half years, and prayed to adopt, is not going to be ours. He is set to be returned to his mom at the end of this month.
All of this has left my heart weary. My lines have been sharp and jagged and cut to the core. I’ve prayed with great sorrow, floods of tears, and even anger. I felt like a toddler that was told no about the little plastic toy in the grocery store check out line. I wanted to scream and stomp my feet. I begged God to heal my Daddy and yelled at Him when that didn’t happen. As we near the end of our time with our precious foster love, I’m back on my knees again. Doesn’t God see that our family would care for him with everything we have? Doesn’t He see that we love him so fiercely? Does He remember every prayer we’ve prayed over him every single day since he arrived in our home? As I fold his little shirts, watch my husband teach him to swim, and see his baby pictures in my daily Facebook memories, does God feel my guttural longing to continue to be his momma?
The experience of all of these big and raw feelings came with a lot of guilt. I had so much anger and so much pain. Why can’t I just have faith over fear? I kept thinking that if I was a strong enough Christian, I would be able to escape this fire unscathed. Shouldn’t a seasoned believer respond differently? Shouldn’t we lean into Jesus and feel nothing but comfort?
The answer to both of those questions is yes. First, we should respond differently than those with no hope, as in 1 Thessalonians 4:13, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” My daddy was a believer. He loved Jesus. I know I will see him again. I know he was healed, in the most ultimate way. But this first doesn’t say we shouldn’t grieve. It says that ultimately, our grief is different. It’s different because it ends in hope. The process of grief doesn’t feel hopeful, but the ending is. That’s the difference.
To the second question, Jesus is our source of comfort, as we learn in 2 Corinthians 1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” I walked through those moments with Jesus by my side. I didn’t escape the pain, but I was comforted. And just as this verse says, I have already been able to share my journey to comfort someone else. Here is where I find a part of my beautiful inheritance! His love and grace flows out of my brokenness and into someone else’s.
What the Lord has taught me in this season, is that He holds my lot. He holds it, and me, even when I’m a mess and the lines appear jagged. He knows my heart and feels compassion for me. He is big enough, and strong enough, to take my honest and raw emotions. All the while, Jesus puts His arms around me and holds me close. Then He somehow turns all of it into a way to share His love with someone else!
And that is how we see our lines have indeed fallen in pleasant places. Those lines lead us, and those we comfort, right to the Father. The grace to bear it is our portion and our cup. The fruit of the journey is our beautiful inheritance!
So, my friend, when it looks hopeless and it feels like all is lost, He says it is not. He holds our lines strong and straight. Let’s raise a hallelujah and celebrate our beautiful inheritance in Jesus!
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Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Isn’t that amazing? As a child of God, good works are prepared ahead of time for us!