Defining Moments

“He turned the intended curse into a blessing because the Lord your God loves you” Deuteronomy 23:5b.

What are things in your life that have defined you or made you the person you are today?

I recently had a friend ask me if my weight has been a defining factor of my life. Really, it’s been such a struggle for such a long time that it has shaped the way I think about myself. We often see our imperfections and areas of struggle and then compare them to others who seem to have it all together.

But, our glorious God can take these things – these “curses” in our life – and turn them into blessings. Why? Because He LOVES us! Only the Lord can bestow on us a crown of beauty instead of ashes (Isaiah 61:3).

Romans 8:28 reminds us that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Sometimes it’s easy to see God at work in the positive parts of our lives. But, what about the hard times? What about the areas where we struggle? Do we see these times as He sees them? Do we realize that He’s producing character in us or pruning back the areas that don’t glorify Him?

What if, I mean WHAT IF, the struggles we’re facing today are really for our own good? What don’t we see coming in the future – maybe right around the corner – that only God knows? What if our present suffering is revealing a future glory that we wouldn’t otherwise obtain?

James 1:2 tells us to consider it pure joy when we face trials. I used to roll my eyes (forgive me, Lord!) when I’d read this verse. Really, is it a joy to struggle financially? Does it feel good to barely squeeze into plus size clothing? Is it a joy when your child gets hurt? Is it really ‘joy’ when you lose a job or face an unknown move?

But…maybe it really is or should be. I’m learning that as we trust God with even the deepest, darkest moments, we begin to see how only He can work in our lives! When we have nothing left and have to rely on His strength, it’s amazing what He can do! Did I think it was even possible to lose weight? I truly wasn’t sure, but I leaned toward it not being possible for my body type and structure. But, glory to God, He turned the curses into blessings for me.

I met a girl today who has struggled for years (maybe even a decade or more) to get pregnant, but glory to God she has finally conceived. We rejoiced at what only God can do! And while everyone who is expecting understands that this is nothing short of a miracle, I think there is even extra celebrating for the barren woman who God has healed!

As Moses was recording the journey of the Israelites (at the Lord’s direction, according to Numbers 33:2), he marked down certain points along the way. I noticed the other day as I was reading this chapter that several of them were places where they had no water and had to ask the Lord for His provision (Numbers 33:14). While the Israelites had grumbled at many of these places, these were “defining moments” in their journey that they recorded as specific stops along the way.

May I encourage you to think about where you are in your own journey of life. What is your area of biggest struggle? What has the enemy meant for a curse that God can turn into a blessing because He loves you? What is an area that you can hand over to God and ask Him to do what ONLY He can do? Let’s rejoice together as God can work it all out for our good and His glory!!!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word and Your little (and BIG!) reminders to us that You love us. This verse jumped off the page at me this morning – You turn even the curses into blessings. What an awesome Lord You are! Thank You for working all things for our good. Please help us consider it joy to go through trials and suffering. We humbly ask that You produce character within us, that you refine our faith and make us the person You had in mind when we were conceived. Please forgive our sin and even remove the blemishes that comes from our disobedience. Please make us holy and pure, just as You are. Thank You, Father, for giving us beauty instead of ashes. Thank You for being all-powerful and able to do anything we ask on our behalf. We believe You, and we trust You. Have Your way in our lives and our situations today…may they be defining moments that we look back and say “this is a spot where we had to stop and simply trust God.” Thank You for being faithful! May we be healthy and thin, financially well off and not have any gods in our lives but You, the One true God. We love You and praise You, with hearts full of thanksgiving for all You’ve done for us! In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!

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