Robert Templeton

Robert Templeton

What of this thing called "life?"

No, this is not a Prince reference. (If I have to explain, I have become older than I realize).

We live in a parenthesis between what has happened and what we are promised by God will happen. At times, those two seem to be at odds, one with the other. But we would not know this if not for the Bible.

God uses each and every circumstance to shape us and form within us the kind of character we were originally designed to bear. We are reminded of this in the words of John 15:1-2. Nothing happens to us pointlessly. The twist and bends in our lives are not random. God has a plan, and His plan is perfect. As we live today in our society of "get it now" mentalities, the words from Lamentations 3:25-27 are comforting reminders of the benefits of patience.

Let us consider the following biblical examples of God's timing compared to ours:

Abraham and Sarah were promised a son, but they waited and waited for years before the promise was finally fulfilled. They may have been tempted to give up, but God was interested in more than just getting things done. God is careful about how He does things. Joseph was sold into slavery, and his brothers meant to do him harm. God, on the other hand, had a much larger plan in mind, and used Joseph in Egypt to save his family.

Moses spent 40 years as a fugitive from the law, tending to sheep in the middle of nowhere. He must have thought that maybe God was through with him. But God was using that time to prepare him for one of the greatest missions in human history. Their outcomes are proof of the words shared in Ecclesiastes 7:8.

If we think about it, it seems God values the process as much as the outcome. It appears the journey is as important as the destination. In other words: God is not merely interested in taking you "somewhere;" He intends to make you "someone" in the process. The twist and turns, the tempests and trials of life, either inflicted upon us or self-inflicted, these are the ingredients He uses to transform you into the kind of person you were intended to be all along.

Are you following Jesus Christ? Where He steps, are you also stepping?

For whoever needed this today ...

Robert Templeton is pastor of Cope Baptist Church.

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