Sunday, September 11, 2016

Prepared beforehand



This morning, Pastor Mike was preaching on “What Christ Did for You”, and around the mid-point of his message I heard him say, “In Christ alone we are made righteous, given understanding, compelled to seek and turn toward God, becoming precious to God…”; and then he quoted Ephesians 2:10.

“For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand
so that we would walk in them.”
—Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)

It’s not that I haven’t read this verse before, and it’s not that God hasn’t laid this verse on my heart before (see No, well maybe)—it’s that today this verse smacked me between my eyes and then drove itself right into my heart. 
  • My heart that is aching. 
  • My heart that is empty. 
  • My heart that is struggling. 
  • My heart that is searching for a reason for this life of widowhood.
  • My heart that misses, oh so very much, my Mac.
  • My heart that is filled with very sad memories of the last 10 days we had together.
  • My heart that seems unable to find the 40 years of happy memories we had together.
  • My heart that is finding the end of the second year of being alone SO VERY LONELY.
  • My heart that feels there isn’t a purpose for my life.
  • My heart that is finding it hard to let go of some guilt.
  • My heart that is finding it hard to trust God.
  • My heart that some days Does. Not. Like. God.

So there I sat today, with this heart of mine that has been struggling for the past few months and is on the verge of going cold, and God tells me, again, that He knew before I was born that I would be a widow, that I would have these struggles, that I would be lonely, that I would be angry with HIM; and yet, He loved me so much He still died for me, He still formed me in my mother’s womb, and He still opened my eyes to His precious gift of salvation. 

This verse seared itself deep into my aching, empty, struggling heart and broke apart another barrier—and it HURT. Honestly, it hurt, and it’s not the first time recently that my heart has hurt as God has pealed away layers of sin and sorrow from my heart. He did it through a Bible study in Habakkuk at our Ladies Bible Study at church; and again the next evening at our mid-week study at church where we are studying Philippians.

I’m finally facing the reality that some of my hurt and pain over losing Mac will never go away, nor will some of the guilt I feel; but it will ease, and as it does, so will my anger and upset. Yet facing these things is so very hard

God knew beforehand, He prepared the way beforehand, and He is there with me each step of the way. The big question is: Will I reach out to Him and allow Him to lead me, or will I continue to turn inward and withdraw, and continue to let my heart fill with anger and pain? Only time will tell, but I'm praying this past week has been a turning point for me. 

Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
Habakkuk 3:18 (NASB)

For I am confident of this very thing,
that He who began a good work in you
will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 1:6 (NASB)

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21 (NASB)