“Marriage wasn’t a dish of jelly, but my teaching days only took form in a new dimension, and when God gave me his Holy Spirit to guide and teach me I could withstand it and share right attitudes and love others. I never had experienced that before, so I am so thankful for it all. Now I am left to enjoy a life alone that I never had with those who should have been my comfort and examples, but God knows our needs and supplies mine.
“Living alone isn’t all a bed of roses but it is freedom for me to choose and accept my lot. I use my time making and sharing and giving what God has given me in my hand to do, hoping it is blessing someone else as I am blessed. I have worn out body areas from ‘much hard work,’ the doctor said, but God cares for that and at my age I can cook, eat, drive and do necessary things until such time as He says, ‘That’s enough.’”
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When does God say, “That’s enough”? In most cases, our enough comes quite a bit sooner than His. His enough might not come until a parent dies or a friend betrays or a child loses his way. But His enough also surpasses our furthest imaginings. His enough goes far beyond a comfortable home and a happy marriage; His enough is abundance. He came so that we could have life and have it to the full. Full and abundant is His enough, but we are too dense to realize that God’s enough comes not through ease but through character-forming, attitude-altering, mind-blowingly tough experiences.
Sometimes I wonder how many lessons we miss along the way. Do we see the face of God in the midst of our pain and loneliness, or do we simply see pain and loneliness itself? If we could see the face of God and experience the change brought about by His nearness, what wisdom and sweetness would pour out of us to bless and change others? How would our sphere of influence be impacted if we were living in breathless expectation of what God will do next?
And along the same lines, what blessings do we miss for ourselves when we miss the face of God in the hard times? My husband serves our country as a Marine, and sometimes that means that I’m left in the dark, waiting and wondering. When he leaves for work, I have no assurance of when I’ll next hear his voice or see his face. There have been quite a few mornings when I have struggled to get out of bed; I work to motivate myself for the simplest tasks. But where is the face of God? Is He bending over my life, waiting for me to look up and recognize Him? Are His arms open, ready to receive my loneliness and comfort my aching heart? What lessons am I missing by focusing on myself and my needs that aren’t being met, instead of allowing Him to meet them exceedingly, abundantly, beyond anything I could ask or think?