It is possible to know something yet not understand it. Learning begins where there is no understanding. In my last blog I listed lessons I have learned, and those lessons reveal understanding my life once lacked. There are layers of my life below the surface of the simple words I used to compile my list. Though some times have proven difficult this journey has been joyous. Below I have provided explanation of two of my life lessons.
God is My Source
Since I can remember I have known cognitively that God is the source—He is the Creator of all things. But up until the age of 28 I had never recognized my need for God as my source. Things changed for me, however, when I began learning to rely on God through needful experience.
I was seven months pregnant with our first child when my husband and I decided to walk away from our financial security to move forward in God's purpose for us. With a limited reserve from the sale of our house we quit our jobs (which was also the source of our health insurance provision) and moved eight hours away from family and friends. For the first time in my life I was unable to rely on what I thought to be the source of my provision. This lack taught me to rely on God.
I learned things about God, my husband, and myself I never would have learned if I had not been in this place of need. I experienced God's faithfulness to His Word and to His character. I experienced my husband's faithfulness to God and His purpose, to me, and to his own integrity. And I experienced my own faithfulness to God and His purpose, to my husband and his commitment, and to my own commitment.
Understanding God as my source is where I have lived for the past twenty years. In times of both plenty and scarcity I have learned He is all I need, and He provides what and when He sees fit. There was once a time when I clung to self-reliance because I did not understand the security of relying on God, but now that I understand from experience it is easier to let go of self and cling to Him.
Trouble is My Friend
Until recently I have always hated trouble. One day while we were pastoring in Johnson City, Tennessee my husband told me he was praying for God to send us through more trouble. I looked incredulously at him and said, "Please stop praying that prayer! We are living in a church! Is that not enough trouble for you?" It has taken about fifteen years for me to finally understand Eugene's perspective, and my most recent experiences over the past four years have taught me to embrace trouble as my friend. (To give credit where credit is due, my husband teaches a lesson titled Trouble is My Friend. I have applied his lesson to my life and have learned it to be true from experience.)
One of the things I look for in friendship is honesty, and trouble has been very honest with me. Trouble has revealed things about myself that needed to change, and these changes in my life are what have propelled my forward movement in my relationship with God and my fulfillment of His purpose for me. Because of trouble I can look back and remember God's helpfulness, faithfulness, goodness, graciousness, forgiveness ... Yes, trouble has proven to be a very good friend. Because of my experiences with trouble I am less afraid of suffering.
What About You?
If you are willing to share I am interested in hearing about your life lessons. Go back and read my blog from Friday, January 29 titled Life Lessons then share a few of your lessons from your list. Your lessons may be similar to or completely different than mine. Provide either a simple list of a few of your lessons or share one lesson with a short explanation. You can respond to me by email. My email is email@example.com.
I will share your responses in my upcoming blog posts but will keep your name anonymous. I believe your lessons will be an encouragement to others.