“If we allow Him to, the Master Architect will take the broken pieces of our lives and put them together in a way that the sunshine of His love can shine through both the light and the dark pieces.”
A sweet friend said that to me one day in the middle of an unusually long, difficult trial that I was going through, and I perked up my ears. Then she continued, “Looking back along the years of my life, I can see where He has taken both the bright pieces and the dark ones and put them together. When the light shines on all these pieces at once, they are amazing! They remind me of His glorious Presence!” She went on to talk about the broken pieces of her life and how the Master had used them and how, even now, she was beginning to see some of the beauty of what He was doing.
What if I did not allow the Master to pick up my broken pieces? What if I did not allow Him to put them where the sunshine of His love could light them up? These broken pieces would lie there, their sharp edges exposed. Their sharp edges would wound others, especially those that I lived with, those I loved.
This is just what the great Master will do for His children. He will use all our pain, all our joy and all our sorrows, if we allow Him to, and bring them together to make something lovely for His use. If only we can remember this when we are going through the hard, dark times it will make such a difference. When the edges get a bit sharp, yield them up to Jesus. He takes away the sharpness and rounds off the corners and collects yet another lovely bit for His glory to shine through.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
I Corinthians 13:12
It is comforting to know, in the middle of each trial, that God is using it all for His glory as long as I am totally yielding to Him. Many times I cannot see what God is doing while it is happening. This is where faith is involved. It is when I understand that God is a good God and is only interested in helping me to know and understand and love Him, that I will be truly able to trust Him. It is during the dark times, when there does not seem to be any light, that I find the greatest comfort in the light of God’s presence and really begin to understand His love and His comfort. It is when I have the greatest need that I get the greatest revelation of Jesus Christ.
When you have a need, turn to Him and He will fill that need. Do you think that our Father does not know what you are experiencing? Of course He knows it. He has designed life so that through these things that we face, we will find ourselves unable to walk alone. We will see our need and lean on Him and He will become our all. This is the way that we will learn to KNOW HIM.
Until you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you do not really know how much grace the tender Shepherd will supply in that time of great need. You do not see your need of faith until nothing, absolutely nothing else but God will work. Then, in the dark, you turn to Him. There is always more than enough grace there when we need it. I heard someone say that God has more than enough grace for any trial we face, but it is up to us to open our hearts wide enough to accept it. I believe that is true. I have marvelled, watching some Christians go through trials, and I have seen them get sweeter and sweeter. Then I have watched others go through similar circumstances and seen their souls shrivel up in bitterness and distress. Where is the difference and what is the answer to this problem?
The difference lies in completely trusting the Master. I am slowly learning this by experience. I was passing through a very difficult circumstance, which seemed to have no answer and no end in sight. At first, I despaired, sure that for this circumstance there was no way out, and I could see no good in it at all. There seemed to be only pain and suffering. As the days went by I became desperate for the sweetness and peace that usually filled my life. I wanted an open heaven and a happy heart again. I wanted to trust and rest. I sought a friend for counsel and prayer but the answer did not come. Perhaps it was because I was expecting her to help me and the Lord wanted me to see that He could do it all, if I was only willing.
One day, on the way to church, as I was praying, He said to me very quietly, “You do not trust Me.” “Yes, I do, Lord, but....” I excused myself because of the particular circumstances I was facing. “No,” He said firmly, “If you would trust Me, your heart would sing. If you would trust Me, you would know that I CAN do all things. I move the mountains and hold up the stars. I calmed the storm and raised the dead and your problem is only a little one. To you it is big. It is insurmountable. To me it is as nothing. There is nothing that I cannot do.” “Oh, Lord,” I prayed. “I believe, help my unbelief.” I sat in the church service that morning in amazement. Tears ran unheeded down my cheeks as one song after another was filled with the power of our amazing God. He is everything. He cares. He is the Prince of Peace. He is the Mighty God! A healing stream of love washed away my frustration and my sorrow and my heart was lifted up. What an awesome God! I began to trust and rest and believe in miracles again. That was all!! But that was everything. I began to sing again, and be joyful and find forgiveness and all the wonderful sweetness that comes with a trusting, obedient heart. That is all, but it comes from a complete trust in God. It turned my eyes from my dark water and my stormy sea to the face of my Master. There is no room for bitterness, despair, unforgiveness or hurt feelings. With hurt feelings I look inward at me and my problems. With forgiveness and faith, I look up at the Master. The broken heart loses its sharp edges and starts to glow in the light of His Presence. The damaged feelings fade away and we begin to love and to hope and to trust.
God has good things in mind through all our circumstances though we often cannot see them in the middle of the trials. Joseph is such an example. The poem below says it so well.
God meant it unto good. Oh blest assurance,
Falling like sunshine all across life’s way,
Touching with Heaven’s gold, earth’s darkest storm clouds,
Bringing fresh peace and comfort day by day.
Twas’ not by chance the hands of faithless brethren
Sold Joseph captive to a foreign land;
Nor was it chance, which after years of suffering,
Brought him before the monarch’s throne to stand.
One Eye, all-seeing, saw the need of thousands,
And planned to meet it through that one lone soul;
And through the weary days of prison bondage
Was working towards that great and glorious goal.
Faith failed not through those long, dark days of waiting,
His trust in God was recompensed at last.
The moment came when God led forth his servant,
To succor many, all his sufferings past.
“It was not you, but God, who sent me hither,”
Witnessed triumphant faith in after days.
“ God meant it unto good,” no “second causes,”
Mingled their discord with his song of praise.
“God means it unto good” for thee beloved,
The God of Joseph is the same today.
His love permits affliction strange and bitter,
His hand is guiding through the unknown way.
Thy Lord who sees the end from the beginning,
Has purposes for thee of love untold.
Then place thy hand in His and follow fearless,
Till thou the riches of His grace behold,
Then when thou standest in the Home of Glory,
And all life’s path lies open to thy gaze,
Thine eyes shall see the hand which, now, thou trusteth,
And magnify His love through endless days.
- Freda Allen
Today, no matter what you may be facing, remember that God means it unto good. Sometimes the way is so dark and the experience so painful that we cannot see how any good may come of it. But follow your Guide with a faith-filled heart. “He has given us a gentle, patient Guide, who is willing to go with us all the way, and come into the minutest steppings of our life.” ~A.B. Simpson
Paul says it well in Hebrews 12:11: “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” You can always count on God to make the “afterward” of difficulty, if rightly overcome, a thousand times richer than the “forward.” What a yield!
As I follow Him, sometimes with faltering steps, I am learning that He can always be trusted. Ps 48:14 “For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death.” Isa 58:11 “And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”
Let Him take your broken heart, your shattered dreams and your dark trials and turn them into something beautiful. He will make all things beautiful in His time.
You will need Adobe® Reader® software installed on your computer in order to view this file. (Adobe, the Adobe PDF file icon and Reader are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.)