“It’s as if God is saying, ‘I know the story I’m telling. Will you trust Me? Even if it means there are hard chapters, will you trust Me with those hard chapters and will you trust that in the end of this story that you’re going to be amazed?'” (Steven Curtis Chapman)
I overheard a mother talking the other day with a friend about an award ceremony her family had recently attended. Her child didn’t think she was getting any awards because she didn’t feel she had done anything noteworthy, so the expectations going into it were low. However, the mother remarked how throughout the ceremony, her heart grew sadder as others were recognized for their achievements and her child, whom she thought was pretty special, was overlooked. At the very end of the program, instead of being recognized for an achievement, her child received an award based on her character. That changed everything for the mom. She was proud not of what her child had achieved or failed to achieve, but she was proud of who her daughter was becoming.
That got me thinking about our life and how our Heavenly Father must look at us. I know I for one get discouraged from time to time. I feel like I’m walking steady throughout life – not necessarily achieving anything noteworthy but not slacking off either – just average, not extraordinary. However, sometimes it gets discouraging when others around me get “awards” for their accomplishments and I seem to have been forgotten. Or…it’s not necessarily about being recognized for anything I’ve done, but instead a particular season of life is incredibly difficult and continuing to move forward gets hard.
I got a word picture when overhearing the conversation between friends and it’s this: Our Father knows how it’s all going to turn out. At the beginning of the program (my life), He already knew the award (blessing) that was waiting for me at the end. He also knew all I would have to go through before I would see the blessing. So He sat there patiently, even during my moments of discouragement, frustration, or impatience for the trial to finally be over, knowing what was waiting for me. Not an award to recognize my hard work. No, an award to show that by leaning into Jesus and trusting Him through the trials, difficulties, and struggles, my entire character had changed and He recognized that.
That thought left me peaceful. While I’m happy to stay in the background, continue to quietly obey and be the person God wants me to be without seeking out accolades or recognition, it’s nice to know that the trials I face are shaping me more into who God wants me to be. If I continue to trust God until I take my last breath, when I finally stand face-to-face with my Father, as Steven Curtis Chapman puts it so eloquently, I’m “going to be amazed.”
© Cheri Swalwell 2014