** But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. ** 1 Peter 5:10
Life in today’s world can bring many different challenges. Some come from going to work and dealing with people, clients, technology, organization, time crunch, deadlines, and other issues. Some challenges are within our own family as we face conflicts with our spouse, children, grandchildren, our budget, or our living circumstances.
We can also face issues with our health, nasty neighbors, car problems or great loss…the list is kind of endless, right? We can all make our own list of what we personally deal with day to day.
As Christians, we can also deal with insults, bad attitudes, rejection, judgmental perspectives, and more due to our identifying with Jesus Christ. Some even have to suffer physical abuse or imprisonment because of it.
None of us like any of these problems. None of us like to be in tough situations. But all of it helps us to get to the place where we fit into our own skin.
If we think back to when we were teenagers, that time of uncertainty, insecurity, shyness, making one blunder after another, we remember a time when we definitely did not fit into our own skin.
Then in our 20’s, and maybe even 30’s, we started to make less mistakes. There were still mistakes but maybe not at the level of our teen’s.
By the time we are in our 40’s we begin to see that we have found some areas where we make fewer and fewer mistakes. Maybe we have understood that youthful hurrying and scurrying was not really getting us anywhere. Maybe we found a place or two where we could shine, putting all of our efforts into them. And for at least a little while, we found a way to fit into our own skin. A way where we didn’t doubt ourselves as much and could see a bit of our own value.
Then, the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond. This is where our verse really comes to life. We have already suffered awhile. A good long while. 50+years of living on this planet and amidst all the trials that it brings. We are still learning and growing, but we know who we are. We know our talents and our faults. We know the unconditional and gracious love of God. We know that we can do our best today and that we don’t need to sweat the small stuff. We don’t get rattled as easily as back there in our teen years. We have faced trial after trial and learned how to handle them as they come.
We are more ‘perfect’ in the Lord’s eyes. We are established in who we are. We are stronger in our spirits. We are settled into our skin.
Because in every trial, the Lord was there with us, helping, teaching, cleansing, transforming, purging, encouraging and loving us…all the time. In everything. Even when we couldn’t see Him. Even when our faith was on rocky ground and our steps were uncertain.
And we have hope. We KNOW that the problems we face today have an ultimate end. Eternity. Glory. Redemption. Light and Love and Life.
Today’s troubles cannot obscure the glory that we will see in our forever. Let’s not allow them to distract us from what is waiting for us or keep us from being settled (fitting) in our own skin.