“Three times I was shipwrecked,” 2 Corinthians 11:25 (ESV). Three times shipwrecked?! Why? Wasn’t once enough? Three times?! This was God’s call, not Paul’s choices. THE LORD God will call you to places you would not choose. Sometimes, repeatedly. What looks like personal mistakes can become the pathway for you turning someone else’s misery into the manifestation of God’s love and goodness. What is a more powerful, life-changing message? Being delivered FROM a set of problems or being delivered IN a set of problems where God is exalted, and Satan is defeated? God put Paul in the same horrible circumstances three times so Paul could confidently and honestly encourage each of us with these God-honoring, devil-destroying, soul-empowering words: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” Phil. 4:13 (ESV). As can I! As we all! Father Your Ways are Marvelous, Your Calling is Precious, and Your manifestation is Glorious!
John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come” is an allegory written while he was imprisoned for his Christian beliefs. Until we reach the Golden Gates of Heaven we must progress in our walk of faith here on earth. Each time I think I understand God’s ways and means He turns the diamond and new facets of His splendor emerge. For the true believer there is no spiking the ball in the end zone on this side of Glory; there is no settling down where we are in this life. Not only am I tolerant of this constantly changing status, I am genuinely thankful for it. I am being pulled toward eternal purpose that I cannot fathom but I instinctively know awaits me. So I’ll keep my shoes on until it’s over. Lord, though I struggle in Your arms, You never let me go. Keep me moving toward Your perfect will. Help me never miss a turn or stop unnecessarily. Keep me progressing toward Your perfect will.