It's been an interesting season in my life.
I've been a companion to elderly people for two and a half years, and recently witnessed my first client go to his heavenly home. Another client significantly declined.
I've been in a season of conflict that from all human appearances has served no purpose.
A friend died of cancer.
There have been a significant number of sleepless nights, tears on pillows, phone calls to close friends.
I search the bible and as I do I find conflict will be a way of life. The heroes of faith all experienced it. Samuel and Saul, Saul and David, David and Absalom, Nehemiah and Sanballat, Tobiah and others, Daniel and those jealous of him, Esther and Hamaan, Jesus and the religious leaders, the apostle Paul and the jews, life and death...
We somewhat expect conflict from "the world", but the bible is faithful to show us plenty of conflict among those who considered themselves believers, too: Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Laban and Rachel, Miriam and Moses, Joshua and the tribe of Joseph, Esther and Mordecai, Mary and her children and Jesus, Peter and Paul, Paul and Barnabas.
Sin creates conflict, pride fuels it and arguments abound.
And that leave us...grateful.
Yes. We can be grateful for a Heavenly Father who gave us His Word, His guidance, and His promises. He's big enough to handle the conflict, big enough to forgive the egos that keep us from living in peace.
We can be grateful for a heavenly home where we will see all our loved ones; grateful for a God that made sure there was a way when sin took the peace out of life.
We can be grateful for the Spirit who nurtures and stretches us, convicts and disciplines us, and leads us back to the bible to be reminded of the great love of God that surrounds us and fills us no matter what we are presently experiencing.
And we can find a great deal of comfort in remembering we have a Savior who sits on the throne interceding. He experienced it all first hand, so any prayer we pray is within His realm of understanding. What we feel, He felt.
We feel misunderstood. He was, too. Even His closest friends didn't "get" Him. We feel rejected. He was, too. We feel unappreciated, overlooked, pushed aside, sad. He did, too.
Psalm 42:1 says,
And as I seek Him, I find Him. He is in the sleepless nights (Luke 5:16 and 6:12) and in the tear-stained pillow (Hebrews 5:7). He is in the wrestling in the wee hours of the morning (Genesis 32:22-32) and He is in the sobs at the grave side (John 11:35).
And for that I am grateful.