Outshine Your Circumstance

Fourteen years ago, Brian and I went house hunting. We didn’t have to move, but after living in our home for twenty-five years, we were ready for a new adventure. Who doesn’t love new? A new home, new neighborhood, new beginning—yes, it was time for a change. Except we had no idea what changes were coming.

We toured several homes and finally found the one we loved—a spacious tri-level with a lush, green yard perfect for summer barbeques. We put in an offer. Then we waited.

When the answer finally came, it wasn’t the one we had hoped for. Our offer was rejected. They countered. We countered. Again, rejected. The rejection felt personal.

Not only did I have to let go of my dream house, but I had to let go of the dream of what could be. We decided to stop house hunting and just wait and see.

Less than a year later, the housing bubble burst and hit the nation like the splatter of sticky pink bubble gum. Home values crashed to the floor while interest rates shot through the roof. Then a few months later, my banking career of almost thirty years ended. Banks were failing left and right, and a new company swooped in to take over ours. Unexpectedly, we went from a two-income household to one.

God knew. In his perfect love and care, he knew what the future held when we had no clue.

That rejected house offer? A gift from a loving God. Finances were tight, and that house offer “no” we received months earlier was God’s best “yes” for us.

We didn’t see it at the time, but I haven’t stopped talking about it since. His gift of love often includes his gift of protection. I tell that story to tell you this— God loves us through our unexpected circumstances and our unplanned hardships. Through all our hard seasons, God loves us through it all.

James 1:17 tells us the Father gives good gifts and every good gift is from above. So, when circumstances do not feel like gifts, and we’re not feeling the love, we can trust that even amidst difficult seasons, we have a love that never fails.

Unconditional, perfect, and everlasting love from “our Father who art in heaven.” His love satisfies the deepest places no dream home or career could ever hope to fill.

When seasons of rejection and hardship come, we can remember this: God sent us the greatest gift. His Son. Jesus, put on flesh, got His feet dirty, then washed the dirty feet of others to show us how it’s done. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19 ESV). He never rejects us, and by His grace and through His love, we can share that truth and hope with others.

Jesus taught us how to live, how to love, how to serve, and if that’s not wild enough, He’s prepared a place for us in His Father’s house. Our mansions in heaven are ready—and they’re exceedingly better than any tri-level here on earth. We need not worry about house hunting or rejected offers. The sold sign is already posted. We are signed, sealed, and delivered—we are his.

But first, we have work to do …

Those good gifts God gives us include our spiritual gifts. The world needs our gifts. These are the gifts we love to share, and the gifts we share in love. They’re the only kind of gifts we can both keep and give away. When we’re in Christ, we all have them and can use them in unison to further the Kingdom.

It’s time to act where our passions, compassions, and convictions intersect.

Using our gifts to impact the world means impacting the world through loving our neighbors well. We are called to make God’s love tangible to a world in need of a breath of fresh hope.

When the world says we are left out and rejected, God says we are chosen and accepted.

God’s love shines through our circumstances, and He can use those circumstances for His glory. When we’ve walked through the fire, we can shine His light into the lives of others.

Doris Swift is an author, speaker, and host of the award-winning Fierce Calling Podcast. She is passionate about equipping women to take action where their passion, compassion, and conviction intersect.dorisswift.com

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