Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday -- A Period or a Question Mark?

A friend recently forwarded me a devotional she received from Joel Osteen's ministry.  Normally, I'm not a huge fan of Joel Osteen ... he seems a little too "health and wealth gospel" to me ... but that is simply my opinion.  I could certainly be wrong on that.  (No "hate comments" please.)  Anyway, this particular devotional really spoke to me -- especially in light of my "February...Ugh!" post a few days ago.  Take a minute and read through it...

File It Away

Today's Scripture:  "Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty.  Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me."  Psalm 131:1, NKJV

When things happen in your life that you didn't plan, do you find yourself trying to reason it all out, or look for a "file," so to speak, in your mind?  What happens when you can't find a "file" to put it in?  What if you can't make sense of it all?

Here's the answer.  Every one of us needs to create a file in our thinking called an "I Don't Understand It" file.  When things come up that don't make sense and you can't figure it out, instead of getting frustrated or confused, simply put it in your "I Don't Understand It" file and leave it alone.  If you go through life trying to figure out why something bad happened, why it didn't work out, why my child didn't get healed, it's going to cause you to be bitter.  Part of trusting God means trusting Him when things don't make sense, knowing that His plan is always for your good; knowing that He will reveal all things in His time -- even if it means in eternity.

Here's what I've learned.  Don't put a question mark where God has put a period.  What the enemy meant for evil, God will ultimately use for your good.  Keep moving forward because God loves you, God is for you, and He has a great plan for you!

Bam!!  That hit me right between the eyes.  I find myself continually pulling out my "Hannah" file, flipping through it, studying it, analyzing it, questioning it, agonizing over it, re-living it ... you get the idea, right?  I don't think that in and of itself is necessarily wrong, because I believe God still has a lot to teach me through her life.  But here's what I do need to do ... Replace that question mark with a period.

Sometimes, even after nearly three years, I wonder if I've really accepted the fact of Hannah's death.  There are still times that none of it really seems real.  Maybe it's because I so desperately wanted there to be a different outcome to her cancer.  That's the question mark I'm referring to.  God put a period at the end of her life.  Not that there aren't still ripples on the pond resulting from her testimony of faith ... her influence continues to touch others.  But God drew a very distinct period on her earthly life on February 26, 2009, and I am not to scrawl a question mark there.

Of course, the key point to remember is that periods are earthly punctuation marks ... Since that earthly period appeared three years ago, Hannah's life has been a series of eternal exclamation points!  And that fact, if nothing else, should put to rest all the question marks!

1 comment:

Darci said...

Wow! You are right! That really hit home. Periods are definitive...and sometimes that is hard. Question marks leave things open, exclamations mean excitement...but This is a GREAT blog. Thank you for sharing.