Yesterday, we had a building project at the house. A Lesson I'm trying to teach my four sons, ages 4-10, is that when there's a project around the house, when a man grabs some tools to do some work, or when there's work in the yard, grab your gear, and go help! Admittedly, keeping their attention was just as much work as the building project (if not more so). Yet when they were helping and on board, they were treated as valuable assets, helping the project continue and finish strong and quickly. In the end, I also learned how to manage the crew, trying to be encouraging, even as I was meting out discipline. It was a test and lesson in patience, to be sure! Why do I bring all of this up? Everything we do, whether or not we realize it, is something we're learning. My boys were learning, and I was learning too. God was teaching me about Himself, and about myself as I was learning how to lead my boys. I'm reminded of everyone who relied on God for leadership in Scripture. Moses learned to cry out to the Lord for those who frustrated him (endlessly, it seems). David, as he tended the sheep of his father, and later led Israel and Judah, relied on God for insight and wisdom to lead, and constantly had to repent of his mistakes. If we look at life from this perspective, we understand that God is using each point of our lives, whether we view it as good or not, to guide us and teach us, to conform us in to what He's always designed us to be. Romans 8:18-30 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.