Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lessons Learned - A Reflection

     In the quiet of my home last evening as I was savoring the sweet birthday wishes from friends and family, I reflected on the years God has given to me.  I was born on May 14, 1948 when Harry Truman was President and the day the State of Israel came into existence.  Through my 65 years of living, I have experienced the turbulent decade of the sixties with riots, hippies and protests against the war in Vietnam to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert and Dr. Martin Luther King.  I witnessed the resignation of President Nixon and the horror of 9/11/2001.  In addition, I have survived bulba
r polio, graduated college with a B.A. degree in communications/teaching, attended graduate school at The Ohio State University for a year and met and married a wonderful man.  We have raised four children, homeschooled them 21 years and watched three of them marry and have families of their own.  During the course of this time, my husband and I have buried our parents and lost other loved ones as well.  What has sustained me, kept our marriage together and enabled us to forge ahead during tough times was our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.  The lessons God has taught have been rich and full.
     First, I have learned that "life is not fair".  My father and later my husband always remind me of this by saying, "Who ever told you life was fair?"  Indeed, Jesus said, "In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart!  I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).  Living in a fallen world as a citizen of heaven is not an easy task.  We face opposition for our worldview because we proclaim and live the truth claims of Christ.  However, we have an advocate in our Lord who stands before God and intercedes (prays) for us!  When I remember that and the fact that He overcame this world, I am comforted when life, indeed, leaves me disappointed.  We are just passing through this broken world and our destination will be a place that is fair, holy, without tears, losses or heartaches.
     Over the years, I have also come to rejoice in the sovereignty of God.  Knowing that God rules and reigns over all the affairs of men, nations, kings, rulers and armies brings me peace of mind at a time when there are wars and rumors of wars.  Having lived through the Vietnam conflict, I saw many of my college friends go off to war never to return.  Living through the assassination of one president and the resignation of another can leave anyone wondering what is going on here?  Nevertheless, when we know and trust in a sovereign God, we believe that He knows the beginning from the end of all things and works all things together for good.  Isaiah 46:9-10 reads:  "...remember the former things of old; for I am God and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,'.....I also love this verse in Isaiah 55:11:  " shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."  These verses bring me comfort.  Living under His watchful eye, knowing that He is in control even if life's circumstances are not should bring our hearts peace.  Has God ever failed in His promises?  No!  He has fulfilled them all in Christ our Savior.  Whether others believe this truth or not does not alter it.
     Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned, though, is that my worth as a person is not found in my performance, my appearance, my income or based on all the good deeds I do.  No, rather, my worth and significance as a person is found in Jesus Christ as Lord.  In Him, I am whole and complete.  Though my body has aged and changed, my spirit is renewed daily.  I am the same person I was when I was much younger only I have had a lot more experience with the bumps and bruises of life.  Yet, I am still continuing to learn and grow daily.  Realizing that we are pleasing to God through a relationship and commitment to His Son Jesus Christ sets us free.  His forgiveness as a result of our sincere repentance allows us to know that we are clean before God.  No amount of money, toys or gimmicks can do that for our soul.  I don't have to dance to a certain tune, do "X" number of good deeds, or worry about my body type.  In Christ, you and I are accepted when we make a real commitment to Him.  Now that is freeing!
     I do not know how many years the Lord will continue to bless me with.  However, I do know that as long as I live, I want to glorify Him, encourage others and serve Him with gladness.  Life is a journey - a preparation for eternity either with Christ or in Hell.  The opportunity to receive Him and grow in Him is always there.  If He is calling to your heart, do not delay in coming to Him.  Speaking from 65 years of experience, I know that my life has been richer and fuller because He called me to Himself in Christ 42 years ago.  I have to agree with the words to a song, "Every Day with Jesus is Sweeter Than the Day Before." May you know that joy as well and put your hand in His.  He will
never disappoint or fail you.  Selah!


Christina said...

Thank you for sharing some of your reflections dear Barbara! You are indeed a woman of wisdom! Praying you had a beautiful and blessed birthday! Love and blessings!

Unknown said...

Enjoyed your reflections. Interesting that I have included some of the same conclusions in my testimony that I will be sharing on my trip!
Love, Mary

Barbara Thayer said...

Thanks Christina for your sweet wishes! I miss hearing from you and talking with lets connect some time. I am happy that my reflections touched you. It is good to think back on where we have been and look forward to where God is taking us. Blessings my friend!

Barbara Thayer said...

Hi Mary,
Praying so much for your trip and your testimony as you go. God is so good that He often gives us the same types of things to share with others. Things which He has taught us and brought us through. Thank you for your friendship and for sharing!