Over 2,000 years ago the Creator of the universe sent His Son to this earth as a baby boy; because of this gift that He so freely gave not only do I have life everlasting but also I am given His power to help me be more and more conformed to the likeness of that Son. This is the process of Christian maturity that God desires for me.
In our ladies' Bible study recently our workbook presented the question, "How has God helped me towards maturity through difficult places?" I reflected on that process and came up with the following realizations about my life which I was encouraged to share as a devotional.
I realized that, although my life has not been the bowl of cherries I envisioned in my youth, through all that I have lost and suffered God has helped me to see His constant presence in my life and His constant guidance for me. He has always been there with me and for me - my rock, my fortress and my hiding place.
He has taught me to trust Him implicitly because all else in this world will fail me and let me down. When I have put my trust in other things it has never turned out well.
He has taught me that His love is the most valuable faithful constant love in all the universe; I can count on it and rely on it through the most painful of trials.
He has taught me that I answer only to an audience of One; He is the only One whose opinion really matters.
He has taught me to be sure to "above all else guard [my] heart for it is the wellspring of life" (Prov. 4:23); when my heart has not been appropriately guarded that wellspring (that bountiful source of life) has been diminished to a trickle.
And finally, He has taught me at all times to lay my life in His hands and trust Him with the outcome; His plan is, and has always been, to give me a hope and a future (Jer. 20:11).
As I have learned and tried to apply these lessons in my life I know that, even through suffering, He is conforming me to the likeness of His precious Son sent so many years ago, and He is maturing me as a Christian believer. Thank you, Lord, for your inexpressible gift!