a lifetime

Have you ever wondered if something that that was very good most of the time was invalidated because it ended badly? I have two friends who are going through a very rough time right now as a major part of their lives changes. One is facing a time in her marriage of thirty-three years where she’s not sure there will be thirty-four. They have grown children and have made a good life together, but times are hard right now. My other friend has had to give up her home of thirty-three years, her very successful ministry in another place, many friends, and the security that being in one place gives. Both have lost almost more than you think a person can bear. But here, at the end of the day, they both ask was it all for naught? Was any of it good because it has ended so hard?

As I was praying for them, I had a word that comforted, if not for them, it certainly was for me. I asked the Lord why it has to be so hard? How could they have to give so much right now to just keep their heads above water? Why would they feel everything in all those years was in vain? And Jesus spoke to my heart. “I lived thirty-three years on earth, and lots of it was very good. There were some awful things that happened, and by some’s standards, it ended badly. Do you think I thought it wasn’t worth it? Just because it looked like it ended badly, it was not in vain.”

The worst day of Christ’s life on earth was the best day for each of us who are in Him. It was the day our salvation was secured in Him. God can turn those things around. The paradox for the Christian  is the things that hurt so badly God uses for good. The things that we believe will kill us end up being the very things that can open to us true Life. And, thirty-three years were not in vain.

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10 thoughts on “a lifetime

  1. I don’t think this is what anyone wants to hear in the throes of tragedy, but it has been my experience that in the worst of times is my valley of growth where faith gets watered and His glory can be manifested within me. If any wonder, I don’t share this word really for them right now, but for those of us who may be able to look back and see a bigger picture on our history with Him. Nobody wants to hear Romans 8:28 in the middle of something terrible. It simply doesn’t comfort. But later, we return to that place and know how carried we were.

  2. I never thought about it that way… Christ’s worst day was my best day! I am praying for your friends. My worst days always bring me back to Him and I’m so grateful. I pray their concerns bring them to their knees and surrender it all again! I am Praising God for sending you into their lives. You are such a supportive friend and there is no doubt your heart aches for them with so much compassion!
    Love you,
    Angie xoxo

  3. This was a beautiful post. Some of the changes I’ve gone through on the other side of fifty have been hard…..Jesus is good and is always there. He is much closer than He’s ever been and IF I hadn’t had the changes I wouldn’t know how good He is, or our close I could be to Him. Nothing ever done for Him is done in vain, no matter how it “looks” to our eyes. I will pray for your friends…I believe I’ve already been praying for one for them. God will see them through….He promises us that….He will go through the fire with us and through the water and He doesn’t say IF, He says when we go through. Praise Him for He is faithfu. You wrote this so touchingly and it was so good. Blessings on you….

  4. That, Annie, is one of the best thoughts I have read in a long time. Its hard to think that way when you are in the middle of something that is bad, but you are right to say it doesn’t invalidate all of what was good. I can’t share the personal place that is hitting in me, but I thank you for posting it.

  5. I guess I also should add what looks like the end often is a new beginning. You all speak such wisdom. I get the idea you’ve walked in these shoes, too. God bless each one of you right where you are. He’s in the details.

  6. I think so many times it’s a matter of perspective. Or maybe not seeing the “big” picture. Can you imagine how the disciples felt as they saw Jesus crucified?

    I am glad that you have an encouraging word to share though. And someday your sisters in Christ will see it as such.

    All that said, I am not a big fan of perspective. (when “perspective” is pointed out to me, it usually means I am going to be wrong. sigh.) Nor am I a fan of change. So I guess I am still a work in progress. I’m just grateful that He is willing to work toward my progress!

    love you,
    karen
    (and was this not a disjointed comment? I think I’m having a blonde moment.)

  7. I have a lot of questions to ask God about certain tragedies, and why they happened…. it’s in the valley that we learn how to trust in God and walk the path he has for us. Some day we’ll understand it all!

    God Bless,

  8. I hear what you are saying and it’s so loud!! I think that we are at the age and season in our lives where these changes are all around us. I am praying for a close friend who I believe may be in the beginning stages of Alzheimers, we have friends who have just decided that marriage isn’t worth it anymore, friends who have lost jobs/careers, another friend who is single and trying to get reinstated as a minister, all of the many, many changes within our hurting church – life changes seem to be what 50 + is all about. I think that for so many of us it is all about what Beth said in Jacksonville – to go through the life changes that we are facing right now – we can’t look backwards
    “-13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
    15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.” Phillippians 3
    We have to see this as a season of growth – and sometimes that is just NO FUN!!!

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