"If we live, it's to honor the Lord. And if we die, it's to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." Romans 14:8 (NLT)Happily ever after. Those are the words I based my dreams on when I was young. In my idealistic thoughts life would go smoothly. I never envisioned the trials. I had no idea how many struggles would line my pathway. I never imagined when I said "in sickness and in health" that either I or my beloved would experience the "sickness".
My husband and I recently had a discussion about how our lives have turned out. We agreed that we had not foreseen where we would be today. We have learned that we cannot rely on the dreams of our youth to become reality. There are too many variables that can change everything in the blink of an eye. But, thankfully, our existence is about so much more.
Individual occurrences are not what life is about. They may serve to direct, or re-direct our steps, but what life is truly about is the journey itself. It's about our walk with the Lord and how we allow Him to lead us through the hills and valleys as we go. It's about our relationship with Him as we follow His Word and grow closer to Him. And it's about the impact we make in other lives, no matter where we find ourselves, and how those impacts bring glory to our Father in Heaven.
No matter how difficult my life has been, I am beyond grateful for the walk I have had with my Lord. I remember the dreams I had as a girl and how I saw the duration of my time on this earth. I have to wonder though what my relationship would be with Him had all those dreams come true. The struggles have driven me to my knees and to the cross. Because of them I have begged Him to keep a tight grasp on me and I have found that all that He promised is true. Had those dreams of a perfect life become reality, what need would I have had for His nearness?
Christmas is just a few days over two weeks away. Likely, as I do, you have a nativity scene set out in your home in anticipation of celebrating the birth of the Christ child. I wonder how many of us actually stop when we walk past it and spend time thinking about His life, why He came, what He did for us and how He continues to love us. His birth, life, death and resurrection are what give us hope. As long as we have Him, we have countless reasons to rejoice, no matter what we might be dealing with in our personal lives. He is our companion as we travel life's roads. As long as we keep our focus on Him, the journey will lead us to our ultimate destination and every trial that we encounter will strengthen our oneness with Him. God bless!
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