Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. – Romans 5:1-5
We have two things going on here at the beginning of a new week. First, Rebekah’s recovery (we’re trying our best to say that recovery really is taking place!) remains front and center. We’ve already discussed the complete reach of pain that won’t let up (“Pain, sharing the story“) and it is pain – even after what is likely successful surgery – that remains our primary challenge.
At the same time, we’re living here in Wake Forest, surrounded by beautiful trees, enjoying at long last the beauty of another autumn.
This morning, walking through the wet park after a night’s rain, through leaves glistenning in the early light, I could see the residue of the long summer continue to fall, carpeting the landscape in vibrant patters of red, yellow, gold, purple, and a thousand hues of brown.
I could say that pain is the dominant feature of our landscape, and it’s tempting to do so, but the real story behind this week continues to be grace, and love, and prayer, and compassion, and care, and promise, and hope. Always hope. Because we know that, “hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
So please stay tuned for more observations from this uniquely challenging experience. Because there is nothing that happens in our lives that stands outside of the great love and providence of God. There is always something to learn, some grace to discern, and some opportunity for the deepening of faith.
Even when – maybe because – it is such a struggle.
Peace – in every way – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.