Have you ever known that you were doing something the right way in the midst of someone telling you that you are doing it incorrectly? Now these dissenters mean well, no doubt. They have all the great intentions in the world, but maybe they don't do what YOU do and they just don't know. Or possibly you were given access to information that others were not - and you know the truth, but it was not necessarily for others to know.
If you were to crack open a bible and open up to the book called 1st Thessalonians chapter 5 verses 16-18 you'd see where the Apostle Paul is encouraging the church at Thessolononica to hold fast in the future. To treat others as they knew to - with love. Here's the part I want to look at - Paul says to be joyful always, pray continually and to give thanks in all things. Yes, he says to give thanks in all things - crazy huh?
"So, Mike. I'm supposed to be happy and thankful when life totally dumps on me?" Well, no, not exactly. Note that he said "in" all things - not "for" all things. Do you get the difference? It means that I'm not necessarily happy about a bad thing occurring, but that I can find peace in stepping back to take in the whole of the picture. Much like pruning a tree - we cut it away so that it can flourish in due season. God pruned me a bit today.
Don't worry. Nothing life-threatening. Just life stuff. Those who know me well have already heard my story. I'd be glad to share the details with you guys but some things you just can't post for the world to see. Well, not yet anyway.
This "thing" that happened today - well it's really the capstone on a series of "things" and not really unexpected. Though sometimes even the expected is shocking when it finally occurs. Some people would consider my today a horrible day. Some would see it as a reason to be angry or bitter. But, you see, I stand (well, i'm sitting actually) here with information to which you do not have access. Why? Because it's just not for you - it's for me. It was not designed for you to know, but for me to know. Doing what you know you are called to do is a soft pillow at night, my friend.
As I step back to see the big picture - the pruning of the proverbial "Mike" tree - I have a huge grin. My time to flourish is just around the corner. Seems the Gardener has His eyes on me.
May you be pruned only to produce a record crop in due season.