I wonder at times what it would be like to be perfect. Oh, I'm not talking only physical perfection, but total perfection. To never lose my temper or have a bad thought, to just walk constantly in *heavenly places* and never worry or lack trust.
There have been times over the last year or so that I have prayed for just one normal week, just one week where there was no crisis or trauma to have to contend with. And to be totally honest I have finally redefined *normal* for our lives.
But still I fail, I fall short. I am not a perfect wife, nor am I a perfect mother. I'm not the perfect child to my parents, or to my King.
And life continues to happen to me. Each day I wake up and life is still there, problems are still there, and I still have to put one foot in front of the other and muddle through.
I think one of the things that makes Paul probably my favored New Testament contributor is that he was real. He had shortcomings and he didn't pretend otherwise.
And over the last year I think I have taken on whining to God. I'm not proud of it, but in some of the situations I have faced I have felt like stomping my feet, and throwing myself on the floor and having a good old fit. I'm sure NO ONE else has EVER had these feelings. I have never asked God "why me" or said it has become more than I could bear, but I have, well, begged for help.
My Pastor's wife went through a very traumatic situation several years ago. Her mother related her side of it one day to us. She said she had become bitter and questioned God as to why this had happen to her daughter in the way it had happened. She said her answer was "why not."
Why should I not have troubles and trials? Why should I be exempt from the problems of life?
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I made strong."
Every trial I have faced, every situation I have struggled through, every time I have been broken and pierced with the thorns of life, through all the times I have thrown myself at His mercy, and wept painful, sometimes bitter tears at His feet, He was working perfection in me.
And just like Paul, I am thankful. I look back over my walk with Him and I see where He has brought me to, and I am in awe of all He has done in my life, in my family.
I won't say I welcome trouble, but I know trouble comes. I know that I can partake of His perfect strength in my times of weakness and trouble. So like Paul I have learned to see the blessing in my own thorns.
Lord, I see the world around me with its shallow view of perfection. Looking only at the outward man they become meaningless, empty shells, with hollow lives. I know I have faced so many things, but I can look at each problem and see Your grace, and it has been more than enough. You have always been my strength. I'm leaning on You.