This year I was invited to sing a couple of Christmas songs at "Curries by Candlelight", a fundraiser held at Pennant Hills Community Centre. The MC for the evening gave a brief message, with the main point being: whatever situation you're in, read the Bible. If you're sad, lonely, confused, afraid... however you're feeling, read the Bible.
So this afternoon I was feeling kind of overwhelmed by life and I picked up a few of my devotionals in the hope that one of them would have something encouraging - oftentimes God does use these devotionals to encourage and challenge me. But today, God knew I needed reminding that the most important source of encouragement is His Word. It was time to pick up my Bible. So I opened it to Jeremiah 33.
I know lots of people are skeptical about doing this and joke that when you just open the Bible to any old page you might turn to the verse that says, "He put his house in order and then hanged himself." But I still believe that God can work in whatever way He chooses to work, and it's far better to open a page of the Bible and ask God to speak to us, than to open some other book in the hope that we'll be encouraged... I guess the important part is seeking His Wisdom, not just wanting to find something that will make us feel good.
What did I find? God reminded me that He is my God (Jeremiah 32:38). That He is Sovereign (33:42) and in control of everything that happens, even though we may not understand why it has happened. That God is the great Healer (33:6), though this again may not be in the way or timing we expect. That God's purpose in all the messiness in my life is to bring Him joy, glory and honour (33:9). That as I experience God's goodness I should be singing, "Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good, His faithful love endures forever" (33:10-11). That even when life feels 'beyond repair', I can look to Almighty God, my Healer and Redeemer to be my Hope, my Refuge, my Rock and my Peace.
In some ways the passage didn't make me feel good as it's clear that God sent all these calamities upon them (32:42). It also made me remember back to the verse I blogged about yesterday that not even a sparrow falls to the ground unless it's God's will, which made me think about the tough stuff I've been through recently, and think again, "Why?". But then as I saw God's promise of restoration, and His promise of peace, I caught a glimpse of the purpose in this pain... a glimpse of God being glorified amidst the heartache and the hurt, and I cried tears of desire to keep trusting God, to let Him use my story for His glory... May He do just that. One day soon I may even be bold enough to share some of my story.