Over the past couple of years I have heard a lot of talk, and been a part of many conversations about how difficult these past few years have been. While reflecting on our current sermon series and how God is present with us always, I was reminded this week about the following quote from Dallas Willard:
God has yet to bless anyone except where they actually are, and if we faithlessly discard situation after situation, moment after moment, as not being “right,” we will simply have no place to receive his kingdom into our life.” – Dallas Willard
My situation, location or stage in life may not be the easiest or as comfortable as I would prefer. I may not feel like everything — or anything — is really going my way. Still this admonition from Dallas Willard calls me to remember that God has always been present amid the struggles of his people. Think of any person you consider a hero of the faith from the pages of Scripture, and you will find someone who did not have everything go smoothly or always “go their way.”
If God is ever going to bless you, it will have to happen in the place where you are — even or perhaps especially — in a place of disappointment or pain. Remembering that God is for us is the first step to developing the eyes to see how he is in process, working to bring blessing out of any — yes every — situation we face in life.
When Paul writes in Romans 8 that God works in all things for the good of those who love him, Paul never said that all things are good. Some things are tough. Some days are hard. Some periods of life seem to be one struggle after another. It is in these times that our memory is so important. It is during these periods that our trust in God is tested. It is for these days that God gives us the stories of scripture and memories of his faithfulness in our lives and the lives of others. Knowledge of his deliverance for his people throughout history and faith in his goodness are vital lifelines in our ability to hold on. Where is the place of blessing? It is always going to be right where you are. Trust and look for the support you need from God. He who is faithful will never leave you unblessed, all the way to your eternity with him.