I've been sitting here this afternoon having a cup of hot tea and reflecting on this past week. Living in the part of Texas that we live in, we are blessed with diverse weather. Last weekend was absolutely spring-like beautiful! Kerry built me a couple of new flower boxes to edge the yard. I started planting flowers in patio pots, but not in the flower boxes. Knowing how quickly the weather changes, I didn't dare plant anything I couldn't move out of the weather into the shelter of the patio. And as predictable as our unpredictable weather is, a cold front came in and we've had cold rain and some ice all week. I won't complain though, because we don't get enough rain through the year as it is. So Tuesday night found us running out on the patio lifting heavy pots getting them out of the freezing rain.
We've had a couple of difficult weeks in an extended family matter, but God, as is His nature, has been faithful to hold us up and faithful to show us the way through with victory on the horizon. The thing about trials and struggles that always lifts me up and even empowers me is this truth: there is a greater purpose and when we have come through them, we are stronger, our faith is rooted more firmly and we have grown more in His likeness. We may not see the purpose and we may not see the growth, but it's there if we've sought God.
I am reminded of a very precious word God gave me from His Word after a very long and difficult battle several years ago. Luke 22:31-32 where Jesus is speaking to Peter just prior to the betrayal in the Garden and before Peter denies Him. He said to Peter, "Simon, Simon, satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I [Jesus] have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
Our enemy, satan, is predicatably unpredictable. He will predictably attack us and try to pull us away or tear us down. His timing though is unpredictable. That's why Peter who knew not only the enemies tactics, but also the faithfulness of his God, could say in 1 Peter 5:8-11, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, stand firm in your faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. To Him be the power and glory for ever and ever. Amen." I pray God will be glorified in the way we fight the battles before us and that we will honor the sacrifice He gave for us by fighting the good fight in the strength and power of Holy Spirit.