"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:2-5
"If there were never any clouds in our lives, we would have not faith. The clouds are the dust of His feet (Nahum 1:3b) They are a sign that God is there. What a revelation to know that sorrow, bereavement, and suffering are actually the clouds that come along with God!"
"It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials. Through every cloud He brings our way, He wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in using the cloud is to simplify our beliefs until our relationship with Him is exactly like that of a child - a relationship simply between God and our own souls, and where other people are but shadows. Until other people become shadows to us, clouds and darkness will be ours every once in a while. Is our relationship with God becoming more simple than it has ever been?....Until we come face to face with the deepest, darkest fact of life without damaging our view of God's character, we do not yet know Him." Oswald Chambers
Now there is much meat in this to ponder, but what keeps going over and over in my mind is that God wants to simplify my beliefs until my relationship with Him is like that of a child. Hum, so God is once again desiring me to trust Him and He wants to remove everything that is standing in the way of me trusting Him. But it didn't stop there, a relationship simply between God and my soul, where other people are shadows. Whew, these couple of sentences described for me a deep relationship of trust that I could actually picture. I don't know about you, but it's so much easier for me to trust God in circumstances where it's easy (ha) to see He is in control. I think I have said this before, it's so much harder for me to trust God when hurtful words, attitudes and/or decisions come through another person and especially if they are believers. I long to live in a relationship with God like a child and be able to only see His face when those hurtful things come through others. And to trust Him enough that I can focus only on His face and our relationship and in trust and dependence (like a little child) not be a bit concerned about the hurtful things said or done to me. Instead what happens to me is often I get angry and come out swinging, grumbling and complaining. But what a picture, when trials come, to be able to trust God, to be able to sit there at His feet and gaze into His face, feel and leave all the hurt and pain with Him, only focused upon my relationship with Him so strongly that all the hurt and pain are shadows with those people back there. I long for such a depth of trust and focus upon God and not the things of this world! Sigh, I'm so far from this place but am thankful to God for allowing me to catch a glimpse of what He wants for me and how He is at work simplifying my beliefs and life.