Thursday, February 16, 2012
When was the last time you felt "Angst"?
Anguish: Grief, often used to convey the added element of mental distress.
I would be five months pregnant right now. This morning, I found myself holding my stomach, as if I were waiting to feel the little flutters. As if I truly thought I was still pregnant, but I'm not pregnant anymore. You may say, "God doesn't let you be tested beyond what you can bear." To that I say, oh, yes, He does. The rest of that scripture is "with your testing He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it." It is not that He does not allow us to face more than we can handle, it is that HE brings us THROUGH it. And no matter how it feels at the time, He WILL bring us through it.
Beth Moore describes anguish as "pain + anxiety", "suffering + dread", "hurt + harassment".
It could be physical pain, emotional distress, or rejection. There are things going on in our lives at all times that can stir up in us these feelings of angst. Sometimes it's sparked by a situation that pulls every single emotion out of us. Sometimes it drudges out the things of our past that we had convinced ourselves were buried. What brings me anguish may seem silly to you and vice versa, but the only thing that seems to matter during our times of anguish is how it feels. Emotions are hard to overcome, hard to see through, and I'm convinced that in our times of anguish the root of it will always be emotion. In every one of these definitions there is an emotion involved. Anxiety, dread, hurt. If we were just feeling pain, suffering, or harassment these times may not cause such grief. It's the added emotions that we naturally associate to every single aspect of our life that has the ability to bring about such mental distress, such harm. There have been times when I have thought this has been way more than I could bear on my own. But God. Through it all God has provided godly friends and leaders who have supported me, held me up when I couldn't do it on my own, and encouraged me to follow my calling in all situations. God provided me with insights that I would never have gotten otherwise.
The great thing about angst is that it doesn't end there. It is but a moment, and it has the potential to change everything you know yourself to be.
Yes, anguish has the potential to completely devestate you, to make you give up on God and turn away, to make you forget your purpose. That is why Satan uses it to come against you, he knows that so often we will give up in the middle rather than sticking it out. But God sees the potential that can come from the anguish as He lovingly leads us through it. He wills for us to place ourselves in His hands and let Him carry us. He has a plan for our lives. He has a place He wants us to get to, a place of His perfect will for our life. He will use every single thing in our life to get us there. He turns our greatest pain into our greatest purpose.
I love and wish I could share every single word and scripture from week 3 in the "Mercy Triumphs" study on James from Beth Moore, but I will simply share the main points and why we are able to, in God, consider the fact that joy is about to come through our sorrow. Did you ever consider how anguish and joy can coexist? James 1:2. Did you know that anguish and joy can trade places? That in a moment of anguish you will be given a moment of joy that will replace it? Isaiah 61:1-3. Have you been able to recognize that anguish can morph into joy? That a moment of anguish can itself be turned into joy? John 16:20.
Anguish is always meant to lead to a birth. No matter what anguish it is we face, we can glory in the knowledge that it is for a purpose. That if we let these trials produce their completed work in us we will become "perfect and complete lacking nothing" as James shares. There is no greater joy I feel than knowing that even here on Earth I can find myself abiding in His perfect and completed will for my life. Will I be the world's idea of the "perfect" woman? Will I never sin? No, but I will be exactly who and where God wants me to be. My life will be exactly what he has purposed for it.When I consider what can come from anguish, what better option is there than to give it over to God and allow Him to turn it into something glorious?
I know the promise that is held in allowing these trials to be used, in allowing myself to let anguish bring about a completed work in me. So I will push through it. Come what may.