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Today’s Truth

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Friend to Friend

If it were up to me, I would have written some stories differently. My second child would not have died, and I would have a little girl who would be 21 years old this year. Carol’s son would not be in prison. Linda’s 20-year-old daughter would not be a quadriplegic. Barbara’s daughter would not be bipolar. Patty’s 21-year-old daughter would not have died in a car accident. Jennifer’s husband would not have died of a brain tumor. If I had been writing the story.

But I’m so glad I’m not the author of those stories. Each and every one of these friends has ministries that impact thousands upon thousands of women all over the world. God has turned their pain into purpose, the misery into ministry, and their devastation into anointed messages of hope and restoration. Sudden glories fill and spill from each of these women’s lives. Their love journeys of living and moving and having their being in Christ have led them through dark valleys and back out into the light on the other side. They practically glow with radiant wonder.

Difficult times are pregnant with glory moments just waiting to be birthed in the lives of those willing to labor through the pain. The key is to not allow bitterness and anger to make our hearts infertile to God’s gifts. One way to avoid the darkening of the soul is by constant communication seasoned with thanksgiving—a continual acknowledgement of His presence.

Glory moments in difficult times are not dependent on our circumstances, but on our focus. Focus on the difficulty and God is difficult to see. Focus on God and glory seeps through the broken places. Difficulties become the bass notes of our life’s song, adding a depth and beauty not found in a life that hovers around middle C.

After my husband and I got out of college, we moved to Charlotte so that my husband could go into practice with another doctor. But after we moved here, the doctor changed his mind.

“Sorry, Steve. Good luck,” the doctor said.

I was so upset. OK, I was angry. Flat out angry. Angry with the doctor and angry with God. We had no money. No job. And school debt.

Three months later a situation opened up that was far better than our original plan. It was Ephesians 3:20 in lab-coat white: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”

Well, why didn’t God do that in the first place? Why didn’t He lead us to that second opportunity when we did all that praying and seeking? He could have. But He is far more interested in developing our character than doling out a life of comfort and ease. C.S. Lewis notes: “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable. Think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”

We are ever the students. He is the teacher still. Trials rip away the flimsy fabric of self-sufficiency and become the raw material for God’s miracles in our lives. And those miracles are a sudden glory.

Someone once said, “Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” Oh that we would trust Him even if the twists and turns never make sense this side of heaven. That’s what trusting God is all about. As we live and move and have our being in Him, the dark places are simply opportunities to trust that He knows the way—and the perfect time to hold on tight.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank You for always knowing and doing what is best for me. Forgive me when I don’t trust You, but think that my way is best. I know that You have wonderful surprises in store for me when I simply trust You in all things. Thank You for being the Teacher. Help me to be a good student of Your Truth.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

We can easily fall into the trap of thinking that God has forgotten us during difficult time. How do we see that in David’s words of Psalm 77:1-9?

Now read the rest of the Psalm. What did David do to remind himself of the faithfulness of God?

How does trusting God change the way you look at difficult situations?

More from the Girlfriends

How do you trust God in tough times? It comes by having a consistent daily walk with God…as you live and move and have your being in Him. The more you know Him, the more you trust Him. If you would like to experience God in the midst of your difficulties as well as your victories, then A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More will help you get there. Click here to download a free chapter and watch a video book trailer.

12 Responses to “When You Don’t Like the Story God is Writing”

  1. Emily Anne Buck says:

    “Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” THIS is SO good! So true! Love it!

  2. Sandra says:

    My son and I were just talking about this! We are getting consistent heavy rains here in Florida, and his roof sprung a leak, which he thought he’d had repaired. He sent me a photo of a huge bulge in the ceiling in his living room where the water was still leaking through, and he was discouraged and disappointed, because he’d done his best to remedy the problem. He was worried his ceiling would collapse! We talked about trusting God even in the bad times, and I just sent him your post, because Girlfriends in God is NOT just for girls! Thank you for the encouragement!

  3. Deb says:

    Thank you for this message this morning. As now tropical storm Harvey wreaks havoc in South Texas, I’ve wondered how God allows such devastation. All the while, I know He has a purpose and will use all of this to His Glory in some manner. In the same breath I am reminded that the hare-filled stories of racism that were filling the airwaves have turned to love stories of rescue and people united in tragedy. Thank you for reminding me that His Story always brings purpose. It hurts my heart that we need such a wake up call to turn our eyes to Him, but I am thankful that we have Him to call on through the storms of life as well as through the happy ones.

  4. Marge says:

    This article is soooo good! “Glory moments in difficult times are not dependent on our circumstances but on our focus.” And His purpose wherever we are and whatever our circumstance is to be His ambassadors. I am so thankful that all that is “in Christ Jesus.” We don’t have to try to work it up in our own strength. He knows we are but dust. We can trust Him to work through us His peace as we set our minds on Him and His truth in the Word and we can trust Him to being witness out of our mouths or through our actions. He is the one who knows just exactly what will be usable in the other person’s life. Wasn’t it Corrie ten Boom who said, “Don’t wrestle; just nestle!”? I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of I Tim. 1:14 while we are waiting to see what happens re the flooding–more than abundant grace–which to me has meant all I need in wisdom and provision wherever we end up.

  5. Sue says:

    The current chapter is one that is filled with tear fuelled prayers for help, for wisdom, for God’s miraculous intervention. It is not comfortable or happy and certainly not one that I am enjoying. But oh how sweet to trust in Jesus. How good it is to know that He is at work in all things for good, no matter how ugly, painful, and sordid it looks at the moment. Yes, His glory shines through the darkness and though my heart breaks still I will trust Him.

  6. Knowing what I know about God, I know He would write the perfect story with a happy ending, but we live in a fallen world with an evil enemy, people blame themselves and each other for things, and maybe there are consequences to actions but God is always there, He will make things work for good.

  7. Christine says:

    Thank you for writing this. My Dad passed away month. He was coming home from a speaking engagement and got into a car accident. I’ve been struggling a lot. I’ve been in some dark places. Thank you for being so honest and transparent and sharing other people’s pain and triumph. I know no one who is suffering wants to be on that road, but it’s nice to know we aren’t on this hellish road a lone.

  8. Sheryl :) says:

    Hey there! Thank you for your faithfulness in teaching from the scriptures. It’s been just wonderful reading the daily emails. It’s amazing how the content is just what is required at the right time. I thank God for using you as an encouragement to so many! Xx

  9. Kaye says:

    I really wish I could be as optimist as the author and fellow readers leaving comments. I’ve come to the point where the pain and hurt of losing every person that I ever loved and thought loved me has taken its toll. Losing both my mother and later to debilitating chronic disease a year and half a part, the separation and divorce of my spouse at the same time and now the painful betrayal and ending of a 5 yr relationship with the one I called soulmate is WAY too much. My faith, will to live and hope for any kind of bright future is gone…. “God doesn’t give you more than handle” huh? Well God has definitely over estimated my capacity and I’m not long for this misery… no more pain. Cause none cares anyhow.

    • GiGs says:

      Hi Kaye,
      God has not promised not to give you more than YOU can handle. For those who are who are helped by God’s sovereign grace, we are not meant to handle hardships independent of the power of God’s help. Not in your strength alone, but by total dependence and surrender to Christ, He will, by His Spirit, strengthen you and walk with you through the valley.

      Hold fast to the promises of God: Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:8, “[He] will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

      God will enable you, if you put your trust and hope in Him alone. Look to Jesus, His sacrifice on the Cross to save you – He Cares!

  10. Rita Kroon says:

    Hi, Sharon,

    I thoroughly enjoy your blogs, but this blog post (When You Don’t Like the Story God is Writing) is one of my favorites! Therefore, I would like to invite you to be my guest blogger, and if you agree, I would like to post this blog on my website for September 25th.

    Of course, I would add a link to your website. (http://girlfriendsingod.com/sharon-jaynes/) In turn, it would be great if you could let your readers know of my website when your blog is posted. https://awalktothewell.com/ Feel free to check out my website, too.

    Please let me know if this is agreeable with you. I look forward to hearing from you with any comments or suggestions you may have. In the meantime, be blessed as you bless others.

    Rita Kroon

  11. Kaye – I would like to add something to the Girlfriends in God reply. I know and agree with the response, AND would like to add that many losses can result in depression, a condition that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to feel God’s presence. Please consider talking with someone who understands (preferably a Christian counselor/therapist) and can help you walk through the deep valley you are now in. Yes, God and scripture are a huge part of healing, but often other avenues should be pursued as well. Praying for you and for answers to the grief and sadness you are experiencing (and, yes, even anger). God can handle it all.

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