Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rocks and Reflection

The ones in the know about blogging often say that if you want to build readership in this internet age, you have to keep new content coming. If that's the case, I'm surprised I have any readers left. It seems my time to blog gets less and less as time goes on. If it's not a lack of time, it's a lack of inspiration. It was a combination of both this week, and I noticed today that I hadn't posted anything since Monday. But what to post? It took a scan of my photo file and the picture of me at Missouri's Elephant Rocks to spark something worth comment. Funny the things that give you inspiration . . .

In the past couple of years, I've often felt that I had a weight on my shoulders the size of that very large granite boulder. I don't need to go into detail, but It's been a challenge to juggle the care of elderly parents along with the demands of work and ministry. Yet, as odd as it might sound to some in this generation, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Do I get tired? Yes. Frustrated at times? Yes. Grieved? Yes. It's hard to watch people you love very much suffer the indignities of advancing age, infirmity and all the things that come with getting older. I'm no spring chicken anymore, and I feel the advance of time myself. Beyond this, life itself presents many challenges. For followers of the Lord Jesus, He warned us that our lives will be difficult in a fallen world. We struggle against our sin nature. We struggle against enemies of the Gospel. We endure the attacks of Satan and his acolytes -- both supernatural and natural. But we are not alone.

Keith Green once sang a song called "Trials Turned to Gold." Basically, it's about how God sovereignly works in the lives of His people, and uses the trials He allows to refine us into gold. The Lord's brother James reminds us to "consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials." The Apostle Peter encouraged, "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials." The writer of Hebrews speaks of the Lord's discipline, and how -- though it is difficult -- it yields "the peaceful fruit of righteousness."

The Lord is teaching through life's sorrows. He Himself is called the "Man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief." He is our example of One who loves, gives and serves.

I hope I can learn the lesson to His glory.

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