I awaken to a gray morning. The horizon clouded by a mist. The quiet of the house interrupted only by the thrum of heat swooshing through vents. With a morning cup of brew steaming in one hand, I flip my little purple Bible to the book of Ephesians.
Beginning to read, my mind flashes back to high school – when I first started walking with the Lord, and every word of Paul’s epistle jumped off its pages. I grabbed my fluorescent highlighter and dove in. By the end of that quiet time, the six chapters of Ephesians were one glob of hot pink!
I was zealous. Fervent. Excited.
When I went to church the next Sunday I sat close to the front, eager…until my pastor said, “Open to the book of Ephesians.”
My heart sunk. Embarrassed by my glowing pages.
I laugh now. I probably even laughed then. I did have more of a sense of humor in my youth.
I guess that’s why I’m writing today.
My personality is more mellow, analytical, serious. I’ve learned this is the way God’s made me, and He loves me perfectly just as I am. I can’t make myself change, and God doesn’t want me any different.
I’ve also learned there are season’s in every life, when an outward happiness isn’t prevalent. When difficulties bring sobriety. And I’ve learned that I need to give grace to others in their season – even if it conflicts with my own.
But I’ve also been thinking a lot, lately, about how there’s always some sort of heavy trial in my life. Truthfully, I’m exhausted by it.
My sweet, wise husband, who tends to be right more often than I like – he thinks trials are the lot in our life, and I tend to get angry when he says things like this. Not because I think he’s being ridiculous (he’s really not dramatic at all – except when he was younger!), but because I think he might actually be right.
And I thought of an interview I read recently. One with Elisabeth Elliot, who’s in the last stages of her life, plagued with dementia. The end of the article, says she nodded her head vigorously when her husband Lars said she’s handled dementia just as she did the deaths of her husbands – accepting it from the Lord. Something she’d rather not have experienced, but received from Him.
And it’s this one truth from the example of Elisabeth Elliot that’s inspired and changed my life. A constant that I’m learning.
Our God is always good and His plans always perfect. The good and the bad always a gift. The experiences of our lives weaving together to tell the most beautiful, mind-blowing story of redemption. And because of this, I can have confidence no matter what I face. I’m secure in His love.
Gray mornings will come and go.
Clouded horizons will clear away.
And through it all, the promises of God will remain.
I want to hold fast to these truths. No more dangling arms in defeat. I want to grab my pink highlighter and mark up the Word of God, because my soul is singing for joy at the faithfulness of His character.
Not embarrassed – because I see past myself. I see to His glory.
And maybe some will think I’m looney, because a life with the brightness of joy sure is unusual in dark circumstances.
But perhaps, maybe, just maybe, one person will look at the pink highlighting and think, “I want a God like that.”
And they’ll flip open their Bible, and they’ll learn, too, that they’re secure in His love.