Friends and family make a big impact on our lives. Simple statement, you think.
Yep, but the “big impact” isn’t so simple. As life goes on, we learn just how much our friends and family mean to us. Since our society is so mobile, often it is our friends who take the bigger role, because family has been left in another city or state. How is it with you?
Oswald Chambers is one of my favorite authors of spiritual matters, and one of his devotions spoke deeply to me. He says in his book, My Utmost for His Highest (Barbour Publishing), that the following verse had great impact on him. “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord” (Isa. 6:1).
Now Uzziah’s passing occurred after a long and prosperous reign, and his loss was profoundly disconcerting for the people of Judah. And the loss was personally profound to Isaiah.
What happened when the ground of certainty was pulled our from beneath the great Old Testament prophet’s feet? He did not become discouraged, depressed, or throw a tantrum or go on a shopping spree—he saw the Lord.
When we are in the midst of a storm, it is difficult to see through the swirling clouds and heavy rain. No doubt we would rather run away from the storm than stand up against the wind and pelting drops of cold water. God, however, is often best revealed in such times.
In the year my best and closest friend died, we had the opportunity to share with each other our mutual faith and trust in what God promised through Jesus Christ. We knew that soon we would be together for all eternity and therefore our friendship could truly never be broken. It was a bittersweet time for us—losing so much but gaining something so much greater. The sense of God’s presence in my life had never been greater.
Continuing with Chambers’ thinking, he went on to say that the vision we have of God is dependent upon the state of our character. I must have a right relationship with God in order to see the Lord in the midst of terrible circumstances.
How does that happen? How do I see God even when caught in the horrible and deep canyon of death? My personal answer is to see God through love—the love He gave to me through what Christ did on Calvary’s hill. With such love dominating my thinking, I can’t help knowing God is truly working all things together for my good (Rom. 8:28).
Resting the whole of my faith on the bedrock of God’s perfect love, I can then rest all other aspects of my life on that same foundation. When God is given first place in everything I think or do, it will become clear that all things hinge upon His will. Knowing Him as the One ultimately in control of all circumstances, I can relax and find spiritual rest.
In all things, I can see the Lord!
by Cindy Best