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22 April – Life is like a box of chocolates

Just listen, trust, and know He works things

Life is like a box of chocolates loaded with surprises. Some parts of life are delightful and some are at times downright disagreeable. The yummy parts of course are easy to swallow, but the unpleasant ones we don’t like so much and are sometimes very hard to stomach.

However it’s in the moments in life that we would rather spit out and forget about that God often uses to shape and determine our depth of character. It’s also when we get to choose to run to Him or turn away from Him. For God never promised He would lead us “around” every trial, but that He would be “with us” through every circumstance of our life, and that He would never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)

When my 24-year-old brother Shaun was killed I was faced with the choice of how that would shape my perspective and view of life. I could let his death create fear and bitterness in me or I could be reminded of how precious every single breath we take is, and that the gift of each day and what I can do and be in it shouldn’t be taken for granted.

What we do in the midst of trials and how it may change us is up to us. We can sit sucking on the bitter moments, reliving them over and over again or we can face them, pain and all, and allow God to work in us.

It’s also in that space we have the opportunity to discover and really learn that, “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

I made a decision shortly after my brother’s death to not allow his death to steal from me or to cause me to live in silence or fear, but to embrace every opportunity God brings my way and to make the most of my life.

My brother Shaun loved the saying, “Just do it”. Just do something and make the most of the opportunities before you. One of his favourite passages in the bible says that when we wait upon the Lord we will rise up and soar on wings like eagles and run and not grow weary, and walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

We are alive today, so shouldn’t we make the most of this day? Shouldn’t we find out what God’s plan and purpose is for our life and then go out and just do it?

Is that always easy? No. But if we walk with Jesus we will start to discover that, “He makes everything beautiful in His time”, and that He is at work perfecting everything that concerns us. (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Ps 138:8) Even if at times when we don’t understand and we just have to go to a place of trust knowing God loves us and it is going to be alright because He has a hope, plan and a future for our life, that’s okay. The key is to keep looking at Jesus and moving forward.

Where are you today in your journey? Are you enjoying the sweet taste of good times or a series of unexpected, unpleasant events? Because whatever you are going through, I want to encourage you to rely on Jesus and His love for you. He will get you through the distasteful portions of life and lead you out the other side.  He promises He will help you to make sense of any mess and create a strength in you that you didn’t have before. He will also make the sweet moments even sweeter and increase those blessings to you.

Life is like a fantastic box of chocolates. (I happen to like the Vanilla caramel ones). It’s loaded with surprises, opportunities and challenges but it is like a box of chocolates and worth unwrapping!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in yourbook before one of them came to be”. (Psalm 139:16)

“But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.” (Isaiah 40:31 AMP)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you have given me life. Help me in every season to be grateful for the sweet times and learn to trust you in the distasteful moments. Thank you that you are faithful and work all things together for my good. In Jesus Name. Amen.

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