Friday, January 6, 2017
The Gold Exchange
“He [God] knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” Job 23:10.
‘Job acknowledged that God allowed his trial; yet Job submitted to the process and expressed confidence that God would bring positive change from his suffering. Trials come to all of us; but if we respond with faith, God will bring us out of the experience as gold.’ When Life Gets Hard, James MacDonald, p. 11.
Well that’s a nice intro and a call to all Christians but it is certainly easier to type those words than to live them. Over the course of my adult life like many of you, I have experienced many trials. I have been through a divorce when I stood before God and others vowing to forever be married. I have been dragged through drug addiction with a child over an 8 year period of time. I secretly mounted huge amounts of debt in our family shouldering the shame of it all. I watched my sister die of cancer at the age of 42 when life was just getting sweet for her. I held onto my dad’s arm as he took hold of the arm of Christ and went to Heaven. I am in the midst of another long running trial that seems to have more of a pulse some days than my pulse. There are long trials and short trials, irritating trials and devastating trials. Some trials I invited into my life but other trials invaded like a thief in the night. When trials come, and they will, the only control we have over them is our response to them.
Hebrews 12:5 reminds us to neither regard lightly nor become weary when we are tested and under fire. We are encouraged to submit ourselves and our burdens to God. When we get to a place where we accept that we are completely dependent on God, we become the recipients of gold. What is that gold in our trails? It is experiencing God’s enduring presence when we are feeling all alone. It is when our despair is suddenly transformed to hope when nothing on the horizon has changed. Gold is given when life is harsh and God is gentle.
For me, my trials have produced gold that I would never exchange for a life of ease. My gold consists of an ever-increasing awareness and knowledge of the abundance of God…loving… gracious…patient…faithful…kind…gentle…guiding…wise. So, if my times of testing yield the fullness of Him I will open my hands, raise my arms and hold on for dear life.
“So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.” Isaiah 30:18 (NLT)