I woke up this morning and my first thought was, 'Today is going to be a hard day.' Perhaps not the most encouraging way to start the day, but as it draws to a close I'm reminded that hard or difficult does not equal bad - as much as my comfort-seeking self would like to assume so.
It got me thinking about Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane - he knew he was about to face some really really hard things. My hard day doesn't even begin to compare. His impulse was to turn to the Father and ask for strength to move forward. He recognized that this hard thing was for the ultimate good of those entrusted to him; he moved forward out of love and compassion for us.
I'm humbled to have a sweet little flock entrusted to my care. I love them, and I'm blessed to endure some hard things for their sake. I'm learning a reliance upon the Father that I've not yet had to experience, and for that I am grateful.
I'm also learning that I'm made of some tougher stuff than I usually realize; that alone is a work of God's grace in my life and nothing of my own. Despite my harmony-loving, adept conflict-avoiding tendencies, I'm learning to hold a hard line on the truth. I trust that no matter hard or offensive the truth may be, God is for truth. I've been meditating a lot lately on II Cor. 13:8, "For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth." I'm not sure I fully understand the depth of what that means, but I'm learning that the truth is powerful.
I'm ending today feeling really thankful - thankful to know and be known by the only true God; thankful for the ministry that has been entrusted to my care; and thankful for the exhaustion that accompanies a day committed to others.
Here's to more difficult, challenging, blessings of days!