At the core I don't like to think about my nature. I would rather paint myself as someone much different than who I am. Because in reality my nature tends to lean towards the negative and the selfish where I want to make things all about me instead of about God and others. My nature is one that wants to defend my "position" and what I presume are "my rights" instead of living a life of sacrificial love. I often want to see my troubles as excuses to live a life of selfishness instead of digging deep into the dark trenches of life to find my true treasure. If I am honest, my nature wants my treasure to come without the sacrifice.
But in going against my nature, and taking the risk of seeing the dark trenches of life as an opportunity, I gently find the beautiful reality that there is a beautiful gateway of hope.
It can be very hard to think this way, especially when our lives take turns that we could never have imagined. I am sure that the widows never could have thought they would need to defend their homes. I mean if anyone deserved a free pass for thinking that their homes were theirs after all that they had lost, it would be the widows. Gowen was being completely unfair, and #hearties everywhere I am sure were disgusted with him and the company. But didn't his character highlight a difficult but real part of life- the fact that life is often completely unfair. And how do we respond to this unfairness?
Do we complain when things don't go our way? Do we throw little "adult" temper tantrums when we feel that we have been treated unfairly? Do we gossip about the people that have hurt us? Do we become more selfish and justify our actions because we feel that life is unfair? Do we throw "fits" trying to justify our actions? Or do we have the courage to look beyond our nature and dig deep?
Much like the widows never could have expected to lose their husbands or never would have dreamed of going back into the mine (where their husbands died) to save their homes, we often are faced with difficult and precarious situations that we could never have dreamed of. But the beauty is that in going against our nature we can find that the darkest places can sometimes becomes the gateway of hope.
Maybe sweet friends you are like me and longing for something different. Maybe you have health, relationship, or financial limitations. Maybe you are longing for something you feel will change the course of your life that hasn’t happened. That is all okay friend, because life, your beautiful life is a gift and you can find life full of joy right where you are at today. You can find that by going against your nature and digging deep can bring the beautiful gift of hope.
Maybe going against your nature today is to extend kindness to a co-worker who is difficult to work with. Maybe it is in spreading extra kindness to a mama you see in the grocery store whose kiddos won't stop crying. Maybe it is picking up the phone and calling a friend you haven't talked with in years but one that you owe an apology to. Maybe it is getting out from behind social media and taking the time to go visit an elderly neighbor. Maybe it is just loving on your family that is right in your home. Maybe it is just in having the courage, like the widows, to walk into your own "mine situation".
Today, friends, let us go against our nature, dig deep into the dark trenches of life and reap the rewards of finding a precious treasure that couldn’t ever be found in a different way: gaining what God has shaped us for and seeing each of our troubles as a beautiful gateway of hope.
"I will make the valley of achor (trouble) into a gateway of hope."
Looking for past From Hope Valley Devotionals? You can click HERE to find a complete listing of all of the devotionals!
I receive several emails a week asking where you can watch older episodes of "When Calls the Heart". If you have a Netflix account you can find seasons 1-3 there or you can purchase them on Amazon. You can purchase and watch all of the seasons and episodes by clicking on the links below:
When Calls the Heart, Season 4 (These episodes will be available approximately 24 hours after it airs on Hallmark)
*Please note that the quotes used in these weekly devotionals are the sole intellectual property of Hallmark Channel, WCTH, & Crown Media, LLC. These on-line posts are in no way supported, endorsed or affiliated with WCTH, Hallmark Channel, or Crown Media. They are simply encouragement inspired by Janette Oke and this precious show.*