Encircling the steeple of the church was a flock of birds that can barely be seen, but were present to anyone who took the time to look for them. I have imagined myself as the pastor of that church, and thought about all the sermons that had been preached within its walls. I thought about the weddings, funerals, baptisms, homecoming meals, and even the arguments that took inside and outside the walls of the serene looking church.
The painting has reminded me that there is more to life than a peaceful image. When you become a follower of Jesus Christ, you are not exempt from the hardships of life. As a matter of fact, you will face more obstacles in your life. If you believe life is just one happy scene followed by other happy scenes, you will become discouraged and bitter. Even the most dedicated followers of God had times when life had lost its joy.
King David was a man after God’s own heart, but he still struggled with life and the decisions he had made. Instead of giving up on life or giving in to sin, David turned to God with his needs. Psalm 51: 9-13 says, “Hide Your face from my sins, and blot our all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.”
This is one of the best testimonies in Bible about seeing the complexities as well as the joys of life. King David realized there was more to life than good times that brought him happiness or bad times that brought him distress. He also realized the only One who could bring him forgiveness, peace and joy was God. It is a mistake to look to anything or anyone else to bring us peace except God. Only God can create within us a clean heart, and restore the joy of our salvation. It is from that relationship that we are allowed us to be a witness to others who have experienced the same challenges we have experienced in life.
Today, if you find yourself in a good place where all is peaceful and quiet, praise God. The peaceful place is great, but realize that it is never a permanent place. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, take your requests to God knowing that He hears you, loves you, and wants to restore you to Himself. Yes, there is more to life than meets the eye, but I am confident that God knows all things and is in control of all things, and that is enough for me in my past, present, future, and eternity. It is my prayer that you feel the same way.
Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it!
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