Our Perplexing Trial

At times I am bewildered over things that are taking place in my life. I have found this true in this current season. Much has been shared in previous blogs about the journey, but there has been this nagging in my spirit of what is God’s purpose for the next season.

What this season has done has given me an overwhelming passion to know God better. I am currently reading ‘Knowing God’ by J I Packer, and his words have enabled me to articulate and understand a little more of God’s unfailing love and grace and His purpose for such a season.

Lost and Confused Signpost
Concept image of a lost and confused signpost against a blue cloudy sky.

In the section “Our Perplexing Trials” (which I have titled this blog), J  IPacker give us biblical examples of God’s wisdom in action in lives of saints. Using these as examples he explains how we see God’s wisdom in action in our lives today.

For me it simply defined what God in his wisdom means to make something of me which I have not yet attained, and he is dealing with me accordingly. J I Packer describes so well in the exert from his book:

“Perhaps he means to strengthen us in patience, good humour, compassion, humility or meekness, by giving us some extra practice in exercising these graces under especially difficult conditions. Perhaps he has new lessons in self-denial and self-distrust to teach us. Perhaps he wishes to break us of complacency, or unreality, or undetected forms of pride and conceit. Perhaps his purpose is simply to draw us closer to himself in conscious communion with him; for it is often the case, as all the saints know, that fellowship with the Father and the Son is most vivid and sweet, and Christian joy is greatest, when the cross is the heaviest. Or perhaps God is preparing us for forms of service of which at present we have no inkling.” From Knowing God, by J.I. Packer (1973, p108)

So I take confidence that while I may be frankly bewildered at things that happened to me, God knows exactly what he is doing, and what he is after, in his handling of my life. I have learnt to trust His wisdom, even when he leaves me in the dark.

J I Packer goes on and makes reference to Paul’s thorn in the flesh, and this time as I read it over again I was able to see that this temptation that he sought Christ three times to remove, may be for me the very thing by which God’s purpose and call in my life is actually defined. The attitude of Paul became a model for me and like Paul my only answer from God is the same he was given: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” On reflection, it was to keep him humble, “to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing great revelations.” This thought, and Christ’s word, was enough for me to look no further. May I have the attitude of Paul: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

As I pondered this blog it was impressed upon me during a quiet time as I was praying and journaling that God’s purpose for my life and the reference in His Word to Paul’s thorn in the flesh may be the area in my life that I have wrestled with for years and yet is the one area where the Lord uses my gifts and abilities to glorify and magnify the Lord through what He has bestowed upon me as a blessing.

I must admit that I don’t know what it means, but I sense it is a piece in the puzzle for my purpose and call and maybe for many years I have been working out God’s call and I did not even know it.

Whatever our future purpose may or may not be in equipping us for future service, we will always have at least that purpose which Paul’s thorn in the flesh had: They will have been sent us to make and keep us humble, and to give us a new opportunity of showing forth the power of Christ in our lives. And do we ever need to know any more about our purpose than that.  Once Paul saw that it was sent to him to enable him to glorify Christ, he accepted it as wisely appointed and even rejoiced in it.

God give me grace in my own life to go and live with likewise.

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