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Date: 02.06.18
Makin’ it Through Your Messy Middle

Several years ago a friend told me, “The movie, Chronicles of Narnia is really great! You would love it.” I considered going but then learned that Aslan, the great lion and main character, is killed in the film. Nope, I thought. Couldn’t stand watching that. Would hurt my heart. Sometime later, I learned that Aslan comes back to life so I decided I could handle watching since I knew the story ends well.

Having an eternal perspective and keeping one’s hope firmly fixed on the promise of heaven is like watching a movie with a mess in the middle. With our gaze turned toward eternity, we can endure life’s messy difficulties because we know Christ will return, we will go home to heaven, all of our tears will be wiped away (Revelation 21:4)—and our story will end very, very well.

While Paul was in prison, he rejoiced. He didn’t rejoice because he knew he would be released or that his earthly circumstances would turn out in his favor. He rejoiced because Christ was his prize. He rejoiced because he had an eternal perspective which sustained him through daily life.

Maybe like me, you have often heard about the heroes in Hebrews 11 whose faith led to rewards and great acts while alive. They shut the mouths of lions, escaped the edge of the sword, and became powerful in battle—among many other wonderful things. But maybe like me, you haven’t heard much about another group mentioned at the very end of the chapter. This group was able to endure messes in the middle of their lives because they steadfastly held onto an eternal perspective (Hebrews 11:16). These folks faced jeers and flogging, were imprisoned, sawed in two, and put to death. They were destitute, homeless, and hungry. But they endured because they knew that this world was not their home. They knew their story would end very well, too.

When I think about what Paul and these saints in Hebrews 11 endured, I have to admit that my faith seems small. I am often more concerned about my comfort than I am about persevering through a trial. But there have been times when keeping my eyes on heaven has helped me hold onto hope in the middle of my own messy story. It has enabled me to endure relational heartbreak, physical fatigue, financial difficulties, and just the day-in, day-out challenges of life. And, I am happy to say that as I get closer to going home, it’s becoming easier to keep my gaze turned upward.

What about you? Will you keep your heart turned toward eternity today? My prayer is that as you remember that you are just passing through this life on the way to your residence in glory that you’ll find greater courage to endure your own messy middle.

 

Posted in: Faith Life Challenges

Comments

18 thoughts on “Makin’ it Through Your Messy Middle

  1. Shana, you are so uplifting. You write such truth and I do try to look at life in this way. I am a single mom, I chose to adopt my children…so this was my choice and I am so very grateful. To God for enabling this to happen. But it is hard to see the kids suffer for things they can’t do, or things they can’t have due to me being single…but I know God is blessing them in ways I can’t see right now…I can do without, but harder to see them, well you know…they don’t have what most do. They have food to eat…(we do not go hungry!), and I am getting the mortgage paid…I will continue to pray that we get my youngst into the Christian school and seeing my senior off to college next yr…pray pray pray…God hears all prayer! Thx for your spirit of hope. I know all will be ok, and just hope I convey my faith to my kids! Bless you Shana !! 🙂

    1. Kerri!

      You have such courage and tenacity–and are (wow!) and inspiration. As your kids grow and see you lean on Christ they are learning to do the same. . .a priceless lesson that will carry them farther than you can even imagine right now. Praying now for God to provide for your child’s college experience.
      May the Lord give you peace and hope overflowing!

      Many blessings,
      Shana

  2. consider that we are to live by God’s faith.
    See the message in Habakkuk 2:4 as well as
    Galatians 2:20 that proclaims the faith “of” Jesus,,,
    not just “from”.
    James in Norcross, GA

  3. Thank you for your great words of TRUTH and
    it brought me to tears of JOY……….in the mess
    of life to know we are not living in our true
    home…..heaven!! Just passing through…….
    great comfort……..peace and love, cp

  4. Thank you very much! Live can be pretty challenging, we are not home yet! The best is yet to come! Glorious Unfolding: “We where made to run in fields of forever!”

  5. Wow… you are such an inspiration…. my life seems very messy right now …but im in counseling to help untangle some of it

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  • Shana, you are so uplifting. You write such truth and I do try to look at life in this way. I am a single mom, I chose to adopt my children…so this was my choice and I am so very grateful. To God for enabling this to happen. But it is hard to see the kids suffer for things they can’t do, or things they can’t have due to me being single…but I know God is blessing them in ways I can’t see right now…I can do without, but harder to see them, well you know…they don’t have what most do. They have food to eat…(we do not go hungry!), and I am getting the mortgage paid…I will continue to pray that we get my youngst into the Christian school and seeing my senior off to college next yr…pray pray pray…God hears all prayer! Thx for your spirit of hope. I know all will be ok, and just hope I convey my faith to my kids! Bless you Shana !! 🙂

    • Kerri!

      You have such courage and tenacity–and are (wow!) and inspiration. As your kids grow and see you lean on Christ they are learning to do the same. . .a priceless lesson that will carry them farther than you can even imagine right now. Praying now for God to provide for your child’s college experience.
      May the Lord give you peace and hope overflowing!

      Many blessings,
      Shana

  • consider that we are to live by God’s faith.
    See the message in Habakkuk 2:4 as well as
    Galatians 2:20 that proclaims the faith “of” Jesus,,,
    not just “from”.
    James in Norcross, GA

  • Thank you for your great words of TRUTH and
    it brought me to tears of JOY……….in the mess
    of life to know we are not living in our true
    home…..heaven!! Just passing through…….
    great comfort……..peace and love, cp

  • Thank you very much! Live can be pretty challenging, we are not home yet! The best is yet to come! Glorious Unfolding: “We where made to run in fields of forever!”

  • Wow… you are such an inspiration…. my life seems very messy right now …but im in counseling to help untangle some of it