“Well, whatever happens, I know God will bring something good from it,” she said it so matter-of-fact that I laughed. I love the view of hindsight–and among the many lessons learned from looking back, one is the truth in her statement. However, in the years of the sometime-struggle, I know I wondered often–what good can come from any of this? And it was years more on the other side of it to see that good could come from it. From start to finish, it turned out to be an enormous and foundational lesson on trust. All those things I thought were good, actually weren’t so good in the end (on some level, I think I even knew it). And the thing that looked like a hot mess was the biggest blessing. God sees things much differently than I do.
For the Lord sees clearly what a man does,
examining every path he takes.
22 An evil man is held captive by his own sins;
they are ropes that catch and hold him.
23 He will die for lack of self-control;
he will be lost because of his great foolishness. Proverbs 5:21-23, NLT
I have to watch reading through Proverbs, because my eyes skim and my head nods in agreement, and all too soon it’s out of my mind–this stuff on adultery, poor decisions, laziness. Self, slow down. Aren’t the days evil? Sit with these holy words. Hold onto them. Pass them down.
My son, obey your father’s commands,
and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
21 Keep their words always in your heart.
Tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you.
When you sleep, they will protect you.
When you wake up, they will advise you.
23 For their command is a lamp
and their instruction a light;
their corrective discipline
is the way to life. Proverbs 6:21-23, NLT
Lord, I’m thankful for your great mercy. Many of the teachings I received led to dead ends. Thank you for challenging my pursuits, values and beliefs. Open my eyes and heart to your word. Lead me, protect me, advise me. Your way leads to life.