I fell asleep with a burdened heart. Stumbling out of bed the next morning, I still fought grief, fear and hopelessness. The weight of my circumstances produced emotions that threatened to overcome truth. I knew I needed to read Scripture to combat what I felt against what I knew. It felt like the Lord withheld compassion from me. It seemed like He wasn’t actively tending toward my tender needs.
It felt like He wasn’t working for my good and that He didn’t know my heart.
Romans 8:28-29 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
I didn’t feel joy. It felt that the trials I was enduring lacked purpose, other than being a heavy weight.
1 Peter 1:6-7 “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
I felt faint, weak and needy.
James 1:2-4 “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
I would take a step forward, leaning into Him, only to find myself stumbling two steps backward into fear. It felt like I was walking through fire and downpour, with no hope on the horizon.
Psalm 68:8-12 “Let the whole world bless our God and loudly sing his praises. Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling. You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver. You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs. Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.”
This journey through the unknown appeared to lack guidance and purpose.
Job 23:10 “But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.”
No thing or person could relieve my angst or meet my needs. His word was the only source of peace.
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 “Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
Yet, He beckoned me ro remember that the struggle is temporary. From dark hours of my past, He has brought good into my life and exemplified evidence of His glory; He will do this again. I don’t have to see His working, to know He is working.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
As believers, we are charged to live by what we know, not by what we feel. He may not remove the winds and the waves of life’s storms, but, He will provide for our needs, amid the storms. We must be intentional to look for His faithfulness. We must know that He is good, even if the things He allows into our lives don’t feel good. We must choose to trust that He forever has our best in mind. If He is weaving things into our lives that we don’t like or can’t understand, we can know that His purposes outweigh our need for understanding. What we NEED, is to know who He is and that He doesn’t change. Life is temporal. He is eternal.
*All quoted Scripture is from the New Living Translation