I know not by what methods rare
The Lord provides for me;
I only know that all my needs
He meets so graciously.
Lately I’ve been thinking… What has Jesus done for me in my lifetime that I would let Him steer my course? Why have I put my trust in Him for answers to my troubles?
Growing up with family oriented parents who taught me Christian values, blessing me with a best friend who led me to a Bible believing church where I learned what it meant to be a child of God, later giving me a faithful and loving husband, four wonderful children and twelve loving grandchildren, along with many more blessings too numerous to list, is certainly reasons enough to trust Him. But is that the only reason I trust in Jesus, because He gave me good things?
God blessing me with a good beginning, does not mean I appreciated His gifts, or that I would never experience trouble, or that I could not be ‘led astray’ by my own head strong decisions to follow the wrong leading or leader. We are all given choices, and because we live in a fallen world, stumbling blocks are placed in all our paths. We have all been given the ability to make choices on which path we chose to follow.
Staying married for over fifty-four years does not mean I never experienced difficult marital problems and raising four children/teenagers to adulthood was certainly no piece of cake. Going through serious health problems with my husband, myself, and other loved ones brought many tough times into my life. My ‘searching’ periods of following occult practices, and doing things selfishly my way brought much pain into my life. I still reasoned… “I am the master of my destiny, and I am in total control”! Even though the reality of each situation told me the only control I had was in the very choices I was making.
Well, my followings eventually led me into times of depression and despondency. I thought at the time… “If I just had everything fall into line the way I wanted it to line up, then my life would be wonderful”. Instead, the reality of my choices manifested themselves into outbursts of temper tantrums towards my children, and sometimes family or friends. There were times I physically lashed out with hands and fists or threw things. I realized later that only by the grace of God, did I not inflict any physical or mental harm. I was sincerely forgiven by others for my outbursts, which was a miracle in itself.
My marriage came closest to divorce during our years in the resort business. I was so exhausted from the work demands, that most days ended in screaming matches of blame against each other. After all, one had to put on a smiling public face, and there was no one else to transfer our frustrations to except to each other.
Lysa TerKeurst in her article “Coming Unglued Isn’t All Bad” says this, “Therefore, might we agree that coming unglued isn’t all bad if it brings us to God? And brings to the light what is eating away at us– chipping away at our foundation? Coming unglued is glorious if the end result of that brokenness leads us to a more healthy wholeness.”
A healthy wholeness began to take shape in my life, when our eldest son and his wife, encouraged me to attend church as well as a women’s Bible study once a week. It was during this time that I began to remember the peace and joy I felt years ago when I first met Jesus. I began to long to see what Jesus saw in me so many years ago. Who was that person then, and who had she become now? I wanted to know and feel what Jesus felt about my disobedient spirit; I wanted to pray in the same way that Jesus prayed; to use what Jesus used, which was the Holy Spirits power, to overcome all my problems; I wanted to be able to forgive others as Jesus forgave me.
I began to see my husband through new and more loving eyes. We talked about our lashing out at each other, and decided that we would not verbally abuse and blame each other for what was being thrown our way by circumstances beyond our control. It took a lot of tongue biting, but we persevered and overcame with our marriage growing stronger, along with our stronger faith in God. My depression, anger, frustrations, bitterness, emptiness, hate, anxiety, selfishness, and envy, were replaced with what the Bible calls ‘the fruits of the Spirit’ which are… “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”. All these things did not suddenly drop into my lap at one time, but as I began earnest Bible study, prayed for strength and guidance, memorized Scripture, all those destructive feelings and behaviors were replaced with a peace and love I had not experienced in years. Doing things my way was not my answer anymore, I looked forward to doing things Jesus way.
Difficulties have not disappeared from my life, especially these last few years with the loss of my husband, my own health problems, and those of my family. I have had to learn how to live as a single person, take over all the problems and finances of running a home, and many other changes that are too numerous to list here. However, I can say unequivocally that without Jesus in my life, I would still be an anxious, unhappy, depressed and neurotic mess!
Since my renewed faith, I am now able to see what Jesus sees when He looks at hurting people, after all I was one of them He lovingly restored. Answers to my problems readily become available to me when I turn to Him in prayer, and when I read His words. He encourages me to look away from myself and see pain others may be experiencing. I can now show them the way I found true peace and healing that they may be seeking. So you see there are many more reasons I have put my trust in Jesus to guide my life. He has never let me down, but always encouraged and built me up!
Have you been searching for answers through the same avenues I chose or similar ones? The occult or other religions will tell you that you can do it on your own, and that you are your own god in total control over your own destiny. Take it from one who has been in your shoes, only belief in Jesus can bring an everlasting peace to your life! Syb Brodie