It's not quite a quiver full, but it's a start!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Today was one of those days...

It was one of those days that life didn't really make sense, when God's plan seemed "flawed", when I couldn't see the promise through the pain. When the tears flowed freely and the comfort didn't seem to come. Watching someone struggle, having absolutely nothing comforting to say, knowing that the fact that "God is in control" just doesn't really make the hurt go away. Knowing that it will take God's binding of these wounds in order for them to heal, and knowing that that takes a lot more than words. Knowing that the healing can only come through time, and that the knowledge may not come until we can ask our Creator face-to-face what His purpose was for our trials.

I'm reminded of those God loved in Scripture. Those He loved, yet turned over to trials. When, in Job 1:12, He gave Satan permission to do whatever he wanted to Job's possessions, just not to harm Job himself. Then after Satan had destroyed Job's riches, killed his children, again in Job 2:6 God turned Job's physical being over to Satan's hand with just the requirement that he not be killed (something that I'm sure would have actually come as a relief to Job while dealing with these trials). Job never turned from God. He cursed his own life, wishing he had never been born, he questioned why he was having to go through the trials that had been placed on him, Job even thought God had deserted him, but he still never turned from God. And in the end we learn that God had never deserted him either. For 37 chapters there is strife. Job is mocked, rebuked, humiliated by his "friends". God is questioned, made fun of, "tested" by those who had no understanding of Him. It wasn't until chapter 38 that God speaks. And we see in Job 42:10-17 that God blessed Job beyond his previous fortunes, and Job died an old man.

I can't imagine what the Scriptures would read about me if it were recording 37 chapters of my own personal trials. Trials in which I could not feel the warmth of God's love surrounding me. Trials in which there seems no good could ever come. To lose not only all of my possessions, but to lose my children to death, to have my spouse and my friends turn against me. To be turned over to a literal hell on earth, with Satan in control of what happens to me. It is these times when our understanding of God is lacking, when His plan is so beyond the realm of human reason, when we are forced to face our human limitations that it is hardest for our faith to be put into practice. These trials that force us to live the way God has called us, by faith, turning everything over to Him, dying to ourself daily, these trials that make us who God wants us to be. No matter how far we feel from Him at the time. No matter how desperately we cry out to be rescued, but instead feel like we have been abandoned. These chapters in our lives that reveal nothing but pain, sorrow, and desperation. Like the poem says, one day we will get to hear God utter the words, "I did not abandon you, it was then that I carried you." And, hopefully, He will celebrate with us how these trials have molded us. That we can here Him say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

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