My church family put together a devotional booklet to walk through together over the Lenten season leading up to Resurrection Sunday. I would like to quote from the devotion written by my friend, Jimmy Sampson: “The Lord’s plan is perfect. It is never detoured. It is never compromised. Most importantly, at the center of it all, His plan always leads to one thing – Himself… He will always point us in only one direction, to Himself. How often do we look for other answers? How often do we seek other ways?”
How often do we try to understand the ways of the Lord? We crave comprehending what He is doing with us, and how, and why, and to what end... The simple answer is that He wills it and that He is using it to point to Christ – for our ultimate benefit and the benefit of others. Of course that is easy to say, but far more difficult to grasp and then to actually practice contentment with that answer. “Why are we going through this trial?” “Why is this bad thing happening to me?” Well, because Jesus wants you to know HIM more than He wants you to be happy.
Because He wants you to know ALL of Him and the joy that goes beyond temporal happiness and allows you to be at peace because you know the One who is the author of all things, holds all things in the palm of His hand, and has every finite detail under His masterful control. That joy that runs so deep that it remains steadfast when the happiness that is dependent on circumstances is rocked and tossed by the waves of tribulation. He wants you to know that when you come to the end of all things, He is enough. He is sufficient. How can you know His sufficiency, unless He permits you to come to the end of all things you cling to for comfort? He wants you to know Him as your Comforter. How can you know Him as Comforter and proclaim Him as that to others unless you have experienced Him as that yourself? If you have been comforted by Him in times of deep hurt and sorrow, what a testimony of His comfort you can be to others! He wants you to know Him as your Provider, but how can you know Him as such unless He permits you to lack and to need and to go without? A deeper knowledge of Himself and a greater intimacy in your relationship with our Lord is worth everything to Him… it matters more than anything else and He will stop at nothing to get that from you. Not because He needs it but because He made you and He knows it’s best for you and you need it! He created you to KNOW Him and as a result, you will never be completely, truly satisfied with anything else!
Again, “His plan is perfect, and it always points to Himself.” Thank you, Lord that you are our answer to every question and that you are both our means and our end in every situation we face.
May we, like Paul, have the chief aim of knowing CHRIST above all things and at all cost. There is nothing more valuable. That we may recognize, believe, and live this! May we welcome all things – trial and difficulty and joyous occasions – with open arms, whatever it takes to push us one inch closer to His throne and into His presence! In Philippians 3:8-11, Paul says, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith – that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE, I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
Allison Fuqua, Foster Care Social Worker