A mnemonic is a memory device to aid in the retention of information. Like, “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pies” serves as a mnemonic to remember the planets in our solar system.
Now, I’m a sucker for alliteration, myself! The repetition of a letter serves well as a mnemonic! So that’s what we are going to count on today. In the words of Sesame Street, today’s message is brought to you by the letter “P.”
This last year has been one of many trials. With Piper’s health up in the air, marital struggles, Kyler’s sensitivity emotionally, and my own moves in the work/service/calling arena, the year has felt like a wild roller coaster ride.
This past year has been a learning curve, a test of faith, and has felt like a battle at times. But God has been faithful through it all. He has gone before me behind me, and stood beside me, even carrying me at times.
There have been three very specific things that God has shown me this year. Three things that have sustained me. Three things that God has used this season in my life to bring me through, to lift me up, and to humble me before Himself.
Peace, patience, and perseverance.
Through it all, I will declare and stand firm that God has been sovereign. He has had His hand on it all, on my family, and upon my spirit. There has been a peace that passes understanding. (Philippians 4:7) God has been whispering every step of the way, “It’s okay, I’ve got this.”
Go through Piper’s health scare when she was a baby, I ran away from God. I was angry and I felt justified in that. It was a long road to come to a place to where I could trust God again. So when we began to face the music again last year, I was happily surprised that my spirit was not down-cast. Sure, I had questions, but I never once doubted God’s goodness or His faithfulness.
Every day that you see your child hurting, physically, emotionally, spiritually…you learn quickly that life is out of your control. You see that God’s hand is on them, and that you are merely a vessel to do His will in their lives. Acknowledging your own shortcomings, requires you to express a patience that comes only from continual prayer and rejoicing in God, even in the hardship. (Romans 12:12)
Laying it all down, and one at a time, surrendering your worries and anxieties at the foot of the cross results in a God-given patience. Patience in waiting for the relief to come, patience with the cries of pain, patience in the emotional melt-downs, and patience in relationships that seem on edge.
But, as patience carries you through the day, there is a responsibility to press on. Keep on, keeping on. Scripture is clear that suffering conjures up perseverance. (Romans 5:3-5) Suffering comes in so many forms. Depression, anxiety, worry, medical scares, marital challenges, financial burdens, and the list goes on.
When we make the choice to take up our cross, to walk WITH God, as opposed to against Him, we build character as we strain forward towards what is ahead. (Philippians 3:12-15) God takes our hand and He gently leads us.
This year has taught me just that. I am not ever alone. WE are never alone. There is a plan and a purpose. (Hey, there are 2 more P’s for you!) Surrender in prayer (another P!) seeking peace from God, come to the foot of the cross in worship to find patience, and take God’s hand to persevere.
No matter what you are facing, God is with you. He is good, He is sovereign, and He is faithful.