Wanting to be out of the fire, longing for the refreshing times of breakthrough. Willing today away just so I can get to the better days ahead.
Oh you have no idea how many times I have cried out to God, when is this going to be over, when will this trial end, when, when, when, why, why, why, me, me, me, my, my, my, wah, wah, wah. Does this ever happen to any of you are am I really the only one?
One day in the midst of my whining, err, um, ah, I mean crying out to God, I had an epiphany, imagine that!
The thought struck me, why am I wasting my trials, why am I spending so much time complaining to God instead of praising Him.
This could be much worse, but it’s because of His mercies that we are not consumed. WOW, talk about an eye opener.
When I “got” the concept that despite all that we were facing and dealing with, it could be so much worse, it had NOT consumed us. God’s hand was yet sustaining and upholding us. I immediately found myself at a place of repentance, asking God to forgive me for my ungrateful ways.
Instead of choosing to see how God was keeping us, blessing us, and in the fire with us, all I could see was the opposite.
I liken it to a pregnant woman who anxiously awaits the arrival of her precious new born babe. As she advances in the pregnancy she can do one of two things. She can relish this special time in her life. Getting to know her baby as it grows, experiencing the kicks and flips taking place insider her womb. She watches her body transform from it’s original state, her belly stretching, growing and glowing from the tiny life it now houses. She nurtures her baby, making whatever changes that are necessary to bring it to fullness. She eagerly waits the arrival of her special blessing, but she doesn’t will away the pregnancy, she understands that for her to deliver the baby she has to go through the process.
On the other hand she can resist the process, so ready, so determined for it to be over and to have that baby out of her, she misses the finer aspects of pregnancy. She focuses on the morning sickness, the weight gain, the stretch marks. She concentrates on the discomfort and the feeling of being crowded. Every kick serves as a reminder that her girlish figure is diminishing with baby growth. All she wants is to hurry up and have this baby so she can get her old self back.
The end result of both pregnancies is a baby being born, but under what circumstances where they carried?
Our trials can evoke these types of changes within us. One of the key things that I’ve learned and once again am yet learning is that while we can’t always choose our trials, we can choose how we respond to them. We can sincerely seek the Lord during the process. We can sit at his feet allowing him to minister to us, to show us how he is using the trials to grow our faith, to bring us to a place of maturity in Him. Yes the stretching can be uncomfortable at times, and downright painful at others, but they are working for our good. They are tools the Father uses to prune us, that we may produce good fruit. Tools designed to help shape and develop our character, to build integrity, to instill complete trust and faith in Him. Often times during our hardest trials we discover we are pregnant, pregnant with His purpose and His will for our lives.
We can also kick against the process, mumbling, griping, complaining every step of the way. We miss the fine tuning of our character, the grooming of our integrity, the making of who we are truly called to be in Christ Jesus.
We can be like the children of Israel, whining, oops; I meant crying out to God (ha) for leeks and garlic of yesterday. We can be like the woman who is so desperate to just have the baby out of her that she misses the joy of the pregnancy.
The Bible tells us to consider it joy when we face trials of many kinds. No, this doesn’t mean we are all excited and jumping up and down like a cheerleader that we’re in a trial. The realty of it is, trials are often painful but we have joy because we know the coming out is better than the going in. The joy comes from knowing that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. We have joy because God loves us so much and sees something so great in us that he would allow us to go through the process to mine it out. Have you ever witnessed a diamond being mined, or gold being mined. It is a difficult process, but the master miner knows that the end result will be worth it. No silversmith has ever spent time purifying and processing silver that has no value or worth. There is greatness locked within us, a greatness not of ourselves but of the Lord. Greatness to do, to live, to serve Him, He who has called us.
I know that it can be hard to see the Lord moving in the midst of it all, but if you look you will see that He is right there, he is the fourth man in the fire. As I close I want to share this with you. A couple of years ago, we went through a hard season of loss. My husband lost his mother, and a few months later he lost his job. When the news came in that my husband had lost his job, fear immediately came in to grip me and I set my heart to prayer. One afternoon as I was praying I heard the words “I Will Remember You”. A few months later we lost our home.
I remember feeling so forsaken and defeated, I couldn’t understand it, what had happened to “I Will Remember You”? We had gone from living a comfortable life in a nice home to relying on the kindness of friends and later relatives who had taken us in. It was such a difficult period for us, I remember crying out to God every day and night. One evening as I walked and prayed I heard in my spirit, “I have remembered you”. I almost laughed. I couldn’t fathom how we had been remembered after having gone through such loss. It was then and there the Lord in his faithfulness, allowed me to see, we had a roof over our heads, it may not have been the roof we wanted but it was a roof. If it was not for His goodness and mercy we could have been homeless living on the street or in shelters. He had remembered us. We were not hungry, we could have been eating at the soup kitchens or worse yet out of garbage cans, we were clothed and shod, not one of us were walking around naked, or bare foot, we were blessed. I could not help but to weep with gratitude, the Lord had remembered us.
If you are in a trial today I want to encourage you to consider it joy. Use this time of processing, purifying, pruning and grooming to draw closer to the Lord. I invite you to look at your trial, see how far you’ve come from the first day until today. See how the Lord has kept you, how he has kept your family. Witness how He has not failed you. Allow Him to have his way in your heart, to reach beyond the hurt to bring healing, to bring wholeness to bring hope. He is there and He has remembered you!
Blessings and until next time,
The book of Job