I was one of those dorky kids who loved school, especially in my elementary years. But I think field trip days were by far the best. I can remember touring Heiner’s Bakery in Huntington when I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 years old, and the warm piece of fresh bread with melted butter, along with a Donald Duck pencil as a souvenir.
Another time I remember going to Carter Caves for the day, touring caves and nature-walking. If I think hard enough, I can still smell the whiff of cedar from the jewelry box I purchased as a memento.
And other trips to the Pumpkin Festival, Safety Town, and Camden Park. The best!
But not every day can be a field trip day. There are some things that simply have to be learned through reading or repetitious writing. There are things we must go over a hundred times, paragraphs that have to be memorized, and quizzes that need to be taken.
Those days seem pretty blah at best, and nearly painful at other times.
But sometimes it takes crummy and difficult stuff to learn the hard lessons.
I have been there – both in learning from my textbook and in learning to trust in my God.
Our lives are always going to be a mixed bag of the best and the worst and lots of in-between. We get the great days – the weddings, the births of bouncing babies, the promotions and pay raises. But we also get the bad times – the sicknesses, the layoffs, the misunderstandings.
But our God never changes. God is good, all the time. Period. And he never leaves us – it‘s true. Our circumstances are not indicators of whether or not God is with us. Sometimes He chooses not to keep us out of the scary parts, but to simply hold our hands through them.
In the Bible, Ezra reminds us that God doesn’t leave. The Israelites had been kicked out of their promised land, after turning from God, and many were relocated to Babylon for 70 years – a land of people who didn‘t worship or even know their God. A new guy takes over, and he permits a group of them to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Just a few short months back home, and the Israelite men began marrying women who worshiped other gods.
Ezra heard about it and was devastated. He prayed, repenting for his people. He prayed and confessed and wept – and thanked God for not giving up on them already. In Ezra chapter 9, verse 9, he said this:
Ezra knew that even though their circumstances were not great (definitely not a field-trip day) – He knew God was with them.
If you are facing a situation that seems less than ideal, please know your God has not deserted you. He will bring good from whatever it is you are going through. There are lessons to be learned. Even if it is something you caused yourself, you can be sure that God can redeem it. He is so good at that.
So don’t give up. We are not promised easy paths, but we are promised that we won’t walk them alone.
Let me know how I can pray with you ❤