Right now, it probably seems as though a lot of your life is not going the way you want it to. I know that’s how I feel. If I had a magic wand, there are dozens of things I would change about where I am and what’s going on. My guess is, you’d like to borrow the wand when I get finished with it. The funny thing is, you probably don’t feel that way about some of the things in your past anymore. I’ve found that the longer people walk with Jesus, the more they start to embrace their past as being part of a story God is writing or a tapestry He’s weaving together to bring them here from there. It doesn’t even matter all that much how bad some of those things from the past were. As people grow in the Lord, they look back over disappointments, confusions and even tragedies to find evidence of God at work. This is part of the paradox of having faith in Christ. When we’re in the midst of troubles, we find ourselves struggling for answers and doubting the love of God. When we make it out of those same troubles, we look back and see the Lord’s hand, tenderly making a way for us. My hope for my own life is that over time, the gap between straining and praising will diminish. I know that in the end, when my race is run and I’m with Jesus, I’ll look Him full in the face and say, “You did everything well.” May He give us the faith to say those words today and may He give us the grace to know that when we can’t say them, He still loves us.