Choosing Life When All We Can See is Death

It’s “spring” in Minnesota which means when I woke up this morning and it was gray and cold my first thought was, “Thank God it’s not snowing or raining again.”

Spring in Minnesota looks like a boat-load of ugly.


Yes, this is the mountain of soot-covered snow still in our parking lot.  We’re thinking we could raise money for missions if we take bets on the date it will finally be gone (and 4th of July is not out of the question).

It does NOT seem like an easy time to choose life.  Or to remember that life is there, beneath the surface, hidden in the ugliness of brown dirt.  It’s hard to remember that God WILL actually transform that ugliness at some point in the near future.


It’s much the same with seasons, or days of our life.  We can recite “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him.” but we think, “HOW in the WORLD is God going to change this mistake, this sin, this pain, this relationship and bring LIFE and Beauty from it???  How will God redeem it at all?”

I did an exercise recently, thanks to the suggestion of Donald Miller, that required me to look back over the hard stuff of the past and try to identify the redemptive lessons from each experience of pain or failure.

Doing this exercise for the past, strengthened my faith in God for the present and the future.

So my “choose life” suggestion this One Word Friday is to try this yourself.  Look back and choose one experience that seemed full of death.  Look for glimpses of the resurrection in it – signs of life and redemption that God brought about and say a prayer of thanksgiving.


4 thoughts on “Choosing Life When All We Can See is Death

  1. This is an exercise I feel like I have had to do since I was in grade school. Trusting in my Heavenly Father that all works together for good and that He knows what’s best. I have learned to say “it is well with my soul”, but have recently begged for the Lord to give me an answer to the questions I have surrounding my past; I ask him “What, Lord almighty, did you want me to learn from the pain, and how can I use it to be your servant?” Not sure He’s given me answers or direction yet, but I’m gonna keep trusting and striving to live a God centered life and to praise him for the good and praise him for the bad! Right now, I’m praising him for my 2 week old miracle 🙂


  2. Yes! And it IS often a long process – understanding (even a little) the redeeming, refining work God is doing in our lives. “Now we see as in a glass dimly…then face to face.” So much we may not know or understand about the pain in our lives this side of heaven, but I love your heart to seek GOD’S heart and mind in all experiences!!!


  3. Thanks for the blog post. After a week when a visa wasn’t renewed and it seems to kill plans dead I read this earlier from 2 Chronicles 33.13 “As he prayed, God was touched; God listened and brought him back to Jerusalem as king. That convinced Manasseh that God was in control.” It gives hope that even when it seems like “bureaucracy – 1; God 0”, there’s still hope.


    • Oh, yes Will. I love the places in Scripture where we see God was at work even when unseen at the time. One of my favorites is Daniel 9:23 and 10:12,13. I pray you will be strengthened with reassurance of God’s sovereignty and purpose in all His plans for your life today.


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