I love good customer service. Recently I was in Costco and I had left some ink cartridges for them to refill. There was a miscommunication, and somehow my four ink cartridges were thrown away. The technician insisted on “making it right.” He sent me to the ink cartridge aisle and instructed me to choose new cartridges to replace the missing ones. This was great customer service.
Imagine a customer service counter in heaven. I’m sure that it is covered in gleaming gold, with nary a fingerprint to be seen on the counter. Behind it stands glowing angels ready to assist customers. And there are a lot of angels so we don’t have to stand in line for long! There is soft praise music playing, candles for a welcoming ambiance, and an essential oil diffuser to perfume the room. This customer service center wants to truly value and serve their customers.
Today I am one of those customers. I stand in line, and truthfully, I’m not a happy camper. I’m one of those irate customers that is not kind to the person trying to help me. I’m holding a rumpled, filthy garment as I wait impatiently. This garment represents the circumstances of my life: the challenges, the difficulties, the heart-crushing defeats. And as I get to the front of the line, I walk up to the counter and lay my garment before the heavenly representative. And I say, in a not-so-polite voice,
“I’m sorry, sir, but this is NOT the life that I ordered.”
Can you relate? Did you envision a plan for your life, and it has not turned out the way that you planned?
Are you still waiting on God for a husband?
Did you beloved child die, leaving you crushed with grief?
Did you daughter get involved in the drug scene and now she’s in jail?
Did you best friend betray you?
Are you reeling from a cancer diagnosis?
Are you struggling to stay on top of the bills, even though you work very hard?
Is your marriage on the verge of falling apart ?
Are you a caregiver who is at the end of her rope?
Not what we ordered, right?
I’m an angry customer right now. The trials that the heavenly CEO has sent my way are beyond what I feel able to endure. I weep. I rail against Him. I pitch a holy hissy fit. This is certainly #NotMyPlan. I would like to exchange this heart-crushing circumstance for an easy-peasy blessing instead. But if I did that, I would be missing out on something that is priceless. Listen to this:
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance..that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
I hate that verse.
I’m not really feeling the joy right now, but I see the truth in it. I want the easy route. I would like to exchange the “testing of my faith” for the “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” But it doesn’t work that way. The testing of my faith is what PRODUCES the endurance, the completion, the maturity. In short, the testing of my faith produces Christlikness in me. This stinky pain-filled situation in my life is making me like Jesus. It has a purpose.
As I stand at the heavenly customer service counter, demanding something easier, I look into the eyes of a wise angel who speaks to me with kindness. He says, “Daughter, these circumstances that you were given ARE hard. I know that. But don’t give up, my love, for when you have walked through them and have endured, there is a beautiful clean garment waiting for you on the other side. When you get there, and you will, you will understand that it was worth it all.”
Girls, I know that we would like to trade in our circumstances for something easier. We are certain that God must have made a mistake, for this does not feel like love or blessing. But God, in His wisdom, is holding the plan for our lives and He sees the purpose in what we are walking through. He sees the end result, the good, the blessing. And He sees that on the other side of the trial, we are more like Jesus.
We ache and we mourn, but it’s going to be worth it.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
I would love to know what pain you are walking through right now. Reply to the email, leave me a comment, or message me on Facebook. I would love to pray for you.