Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CHALLENGE (08/17/17)
- TITLE: Twenty Personal Reflections From My Thorny Days
By Lillian Rhoades
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When my cross weighs more than my faith, God whispers, “That’s not the cross I gave you. Exchange your heavy burden for mine. My cross is easy and my burden light.”
The authenticity of my faith is revealed each time life throws me a curve ball. It is then that I ponder, how well do I know God? Do I have enough faith to trust that He will help me stay in the game, no matter what comes my way?
The pungent, sour taste of lemon is most tolerable when sugar is added. But lemons were not made to taste sweet. When I would cry, “Lord sweeten my trial to make it more acceptable,” His answer silences me. “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
Life’s best lessons are often learned in the worst of times, even when our natural instinct is to skip the class. Am I one of God’s “A” students, always willing to learn from Him, no matter what He desires to teach me, and how?
It is no vice to expose to God what’s laid out on the table of my mind. He knows my thoughts anyway, even before I think them. Doubt, fear, distress, will not turn Him away. When I am honest with God and allow Him see what no one else can see, that’s when He draws nearer to me.
I cannot always be jubilant about the myriad of things that happen to me on my journey through life, but I can be hilariously joyful about my destination. I’ll let nothing on earth dampen my victory song that I sing when I remember what awaits at life’s end. It will be worth it all.
When my soul is as dry as grass in drought, and when the only thing that flourishes are the weeds of self-doubt in myself and doubt in the Divine, I must remember that everything has a season, even weeds.
Simple expressions often harbor reservoirs of profound wisdom. “Make do” is one such abbreviated profundity that I often heard as a child who grew up with lesser means. Today, can I embrace that notion that contentment with lesser things is great gain?
The path that leads to ultimate allegiance to God’s will has no short-cuts or detours. It is the discipline of steadfast and unwavering obedience that earns me the title of Disciple.
He that hath led, will lead. He that hath fed will feed. He that hath kept will keep. I’m one of His sheep.
The cloud of uncertainty covers my faith. Even so, beyond the shadowy veil, I know that God is there. I cannot lose hope, because my source of hope is ever present.
My life debuts as blank pages, and then evolves into an unfinished manuscript. God, You’re the author of my life’s story. Write on its pages as Thou will.
One cannot know the power of God to mend the heart until it’s broken. I will not shrink from a broken heart. Rather, I will bask in the knowing; The Great Comforter has my heart in His hands, and healing will come when He wills it so. “I will trust and not be afraid.”
Lord, I know what You can do, but I need to accept what You have chosen not to do. Your way is perfect, even when it seems not to me.
When “fiery trials” have parched the field where faith once grew, I will not lose heart. Faith’s roots lie just below the surface. God, the ultimate tiller, can plow the “fields,” again, send refreshing rain, and cause faith to flourish once more.
The rose never loses its fragrance, no matter how many thorns it bears.
Summer flowers bloom in rain or sunshine.
Dear Lord, even when life’s storm attends my way, help me to be a rainbow not a raindrop in someone else’s storm.
Never give up on doing good. I may not get back one hundred percent of what I pour into the life of someone else, but I’ll get zero percent back if I put nothing.
Doubt looks down, faith looks up, doubt looks back, faith looks ahead, doubt looks at what is, faith sees what will be.
When light that reasons bring is veiled,
Grace becomes my beam
Silencing the heart’s Why
Stilling the heart’s cry.
Lead on, O beacon of Grace.
No matter where I roam,
I’ll smell the fragrance of The Rose
And bear the thorn.
Your light will lead me home.
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