Something I could have used
Hope. That is something I could have used at a particular time in my life when my faith in God was almost shipwrecked.
It was an issue that so many teenagers like me were facing and it seems rather insignificant now. Yet, when I was going through it, it seemed all but insurmountable. I had been planning a trip to Niagara Falls during the Summer between my Junior and Senior year in high school and I had a ton of friends lined up to go. It was going to be big and I was pinning a lot of who I was on the success of the trip; a success that which was largely defined by how many people that were accompanying me. Then, one by one, my friends dropped out for various reasons. Most of them seemed like they had good excuses, but I saw every one as a personal affront to me. I was so self-absorbed that every time someone backed out I knew it was due to something I lacked or something I had that was not attractive to them. I wondered where God was and why He thought that this was the best path forward. I questioned His love and provision in my life and wanted some answers from Him.
He would answer me...more profoundly than I had ever imagined that He would. Or even could.
It was then that, unbeknownst to me, He re-directed my path to an utterly satisfying destination. He had gotten a hold of my heart to never let go of it. It would take another year or so for Him to completely wake me from my slumber and instill in me the hope, grounded in the finished work of His Son on the cross, which I could have used those days that lead me only into more darkness. But the good that came out of that struggle, literally, cannot be measured. He showed me something that I now know: He is fashioning me into the likeness of His Son.
No matter what I go through, no matter the struggle or the pleasure, He has started a work in me, a good work, that He will complete. Nothing can stop it; nothing can accelerate it; nothing can slow it down; nothing can arrest the loving act of Him making me more like Christ. Not even me.
And the steady turn of the Potter's wheel continues this very minute.