Devotional by Sandy Hopkins
I’m 55yrs old and have been a Christian since the age of 22. There’s something about being over 50 that clicked in for me that has frankly given me permission to feel comfortable in my own skin (you know there’s a but coming – don’t you)! I don’t feel like I strive anymore and feel like I know myself and what’s “me” and what’s not “me,” which feels pretty good. I feel like I’ve matured as a Christian and as a person. I can control my temper and bouts of stubbornness (most of the time), can usually find the good in a situation and have learned how to dig deeper into God to fight those battles, which frankly come when you still have breath in your body and are believing for miracles.
BUT I was recently shocked by my reaction to a comment made to me by someone close. Truth be known – I reacted like a child. Thank God I did so in the confines of my bedroom and no one was any the wiser of my hot tears and fury. I was shocked because I had not felt or reacted this way in many years. In fact, I didn’t think I had a reaction like this in me any more – my head was swirling with the things I was going to do out of reaction to this hurt.
…And then I turned to God. I was still angry, still hurt, still in a huff about the injustice that had bruised me – but I turned to God. And He was there in a heartbeat. In fact, I could sense His face right up close to mine. When I stopped to listen to His voice, He said in a very soft, yet no nonsense voice “Child – stop this”! And I did. What followed after this were tears of repentance and me physically bowing my knees to His Lordship over my life.
“For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
Hebrews 12:6 NLT
It was a strong encounter with God. One I will never forget. I am stronger because of it. I have evidence of how much He loves me! I can also see that I have grown in my walk with Him – many years ago I would have taken days, weeks, even months to repent and seek Him over a big hurt, this time it took minutes (and no one else was hurt in the process!).
In hindsight, God shows up strong and powerful in our trials – but we have to let Him in. When you yield and “lean into” God, you are bending your will to His and your actions (rather than your words) show Him that you love Him. God will lean right back in and let you know you’ve pleased Him.
We don’t like the trials, but we don’t see what’s in us without the testing. Take heart – He loves you flaws and all!