“Am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” Genesis 50:19-20
“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
There is a crater in Canyonlands National Park called Upheaval Dome, which is accessed only by a hike upward along uneven terrain. Geologists continue to research the mystery behind the unusual landform, whether it came from a salt bubble, or a meteorite whose impact caused a crack allowing former oceanic residue to burst forth. Visitors climb with anticipation, and marvel at its magnificent shape and surprise in the reddish Island in the Sky. It is an upheaval to behold and appreciate.
There are moments, situations, and seasons in our lives we might define as upheavals, and they are not usually welcome. Unexpected events can jar our sense of calm, thwart our plans, upend our dreams, or tear a hole in our hearts, leaving us bereft of direction and hope. We can spend much effort making our way toward our desired ends, only to find that God has prepared something else that makes no sense to our finite thinking. But God designs these upheavals to be times of hushed wonder at His loving care and unshakeable might, and places of marveling at His mysterious ways, His power to redeem the worst of circumstances.
How willing are we to look at these with fresh eyes? To contemplate the mystery of the why and understand what we can about God’s sovereignty? To relax rather than resist, and look for lessons we may never have learned otherwise?
And what might our upheavals bring forth? Deeper gratitude and greater spiritual anticipation? What will they change about the way we live and look forward? What might they cause us to leave behind–salt and beauty for others’ lives? How we handle these upheavals can cause others to cringe at the mess, or behold the beauty of our God. (Matthew 5:13-16)
Father, help we welcome the upheavals You bring into my life, receiving them eager to learn of You and be changed. May I learn to see the facets of Your character so beautifully revealed in all You orchestrate, and to reflect Your glory to those around me.