Sherlock Holmes is my favorite fictional detective. He taught me something. The power of observation. My father also instilled this in me. As a little girl my dad constantly asked me questions about what I saw. He taught me to see beyond the moment, to see bigger themes, and to see what was right in front of me.
It is helpful to observe our lives. If I truly believe there is a God that exists, and that He is alive and working, then I should see evidence of what He is doing in my life. I keep a journal to help me record what I observe.
A Reason for Trials
There has been a reason that I have lived through and experienced every trial that I have been through. I have seen God do amazing things through pain and suffering. He doesn’t leave us to rot. He is doing a great work through the pain.
God often delivers me from my trials in my heart before He does so through circumstances. He has changed my heart to get me to appreciate a job I hate. He has given me love for my persecutors before they stopped persecuting. He has given me patience to wait when I wanted to leave. He has given me hope when I was in despair.
I love the way God does this. Well kind of. I mean why can’t I have the job I want, why can’t people stop persecuting me, and why can’t you make this relationship what it should be? Oh yeah, you are teaching us through this to make us more like you. Got it.
What I love though is, when God delivers us from our trial in our heart, it almost doesn’t matter when we are delivered from it through our circumstances. Almost. I think that is a great demonstration of God’s power. When we become so enamored with Him the trial pales in comparison. We just want more of God. The trial is then seen as a tool God uses to keep us close to Him. For a moment we praise Him for that, and no longer care when the trial circumstances end.
#1: A Deepening Love For God’s Word
I have never experienced a trial or suffering where I didn’t come out more in love with God’s Word. The longer the trial the more I suffer and become in need of relief. When we find that relief in reading the Bible we will gain a deepening love for God and His written word.
I see that now. I woke up this morning and without thinking about it picked up my Bible, and journal. I grabbed a cup of coffee and thought okay let’s get into Galatians. Then I thought wow! God is working. (see observation skills in practice.)
He is working because when my trial started 3 years ago I was barren. I didn’t spend time reading and meditating on God’s Word. I read only when I felt guilty because I hadn’t. Now that has changed. Now my Bible is in my purse, and it’s the first thing I think of in the morning.
I didn’t get holy. I am far from the perfect Christian. I am not that lady in your church that volunteers at everything, cooks a hundred meals, and greets everyone that walks in the front door.
I am real. I struggle. I am your everyday Christian.
Yet there is proof that God is alive and real and that His Holy Spirit is working! Why? Because before I didn’t think of reading His word until guilt set in, and today reading His Word is the first thing I think of.
With a pen in my hand, my journal by my side, I read with anticipation of what God is going to teach me, and what adventure we will go on together.
What is God doing in your life? What is He teaching you through your trial? How is He working in your heart?