Ya’ll, I highly recommend spending time on the Internet…with people…whom you do not know…in your bedroom closet.
Both of last week’s Virtual Book Clubs were absolutely refreshing for my tender soul. It was amazing to meet new friends scattered across America and hear their journeys through loss and infertility. I hated that this was the common denominator, but I loved that God used this powerful thread to begin weaving a beautiful tapestry right before our eyes. As we reflected on the glory of God and the comfort of Christ in each of our lives we were wowed.
We shared our spiritual backgrounds, how we were doing emotionally at this point in our struggle, how God used Every Bitter Thing is Sweet and Infertility: Experiencing God’s Peace Amidst The Journey to minister to us, false beliefs about God such as:
- “Children are a blessing from the Lord, so I must not be blessed”
- “God must be a lot like my human father, so I’ll talk to Him about a limited number of things.”
- “God is good, but not good to me”
- “God loves the world, but tolerates me,”
- “God is in control, but I think I’ll try to help Him out in my daily life.”
We talked about how those beliefs effect our marriages and ministries, how these authors grieved, how we grieve, and how God meets us in the thick of it all.
The most encouraging part was that the overarching theme of both groups of women was the same! A bunch of women all came to the same conclusion, y’all! IMPRESSIVE. Here’s what it was…
When we are adoring God for who He is vs. what we want Him to do for us, we can have hope, peace and joy.
As I mentioned a few days ago, Sara Hagerty defines adoration as,
“Holding God’s truth against the gross darkness of the lies we believe ALL.DAY.LONG. Even in and especially in the middle of our pain.”
When we can identify the triggers that are causing us to melt, the lies we are believing about God and what aspect of His indelible character we can cling to, we find hope and even bitter things can be sweet!
“I saw that pain wasn’t a result of my circumstances; pain was a result of my detachment from the Father. Circumstances were merely unearthing my view of life.
I pressed pause on my day to say His Word back to Him. I aligned my haphazard thought life with the Truth that changes. I started the habit of telling Him who He is, using His Word. And I let His Word re-frame my experience. As I utter those strong words about Him with my weak voice, words I can barely believe when they leave my mouth, something inside of me shifts. I begin to know Him not through my own interpretation but through His.
Adoration is exploration. The Father loves to be explored.
Adoration makes walking with God more than just reaction to a series of externals. Adoration calls the circumstances, no matter how high or low, into proper submission in our hearts. Adoration roots us in a reality that no amount of pain and no amount of blessing can shake”-Sara Hagerty
17 Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.
God sure does use common threads of suffering to weave the mot beautiful of tapestries. How might He be able to use your story shared in the context of community to bless and encourage yourself and others?
O come let us adore Him together!
For further study: Matthew Henry”s comments encourage me to no end.
“Habakkuk resolves to delight and triumph in God notwithstanding; when all is gone his God is not gone (Hab. 3:18): “Yet will I rejoice in the Lord; I shall have him to rejoice in, and will rejoice in him.” Destroy the vines and the fig-trees, and you make all the mirth of a carnal heart to cease, Hos. 2:11, 12. But those who, when they were full, enjoyed God in all, when they are emptied and impoverished can enjoy all in God, and can sit down upon a melancholy heap of the ruins of all their creature comforts and even then can sing to the praise and glory of God, as the God of their salvation.
This is the principal ground of our joy in God, that he is the God of our salvation, our eternal salvation, the salvation of the soul; and, if he be so, we may rejoice in him as such in our greatest distresses, since by them our salvation cannot be hindered, but may be furthered. Note, Joy in God is never out of season, nay, it is in a special manner seasonable when we meet with losses and crosses in the world, that it may then appear that our hearts are not set upon these things, nor our happiness bound up in them.
See how the prophet triumphs in God: The Lord God is my strength, Hab. 3:19. He that is the God of our salvation in another world will be our strength in this world, to carry us on in our journey thither, and help us over the difficulties and oppositions we meet with in our way.
Even when provisions are cut off, to make it appear that man lives not by bread alone, we may have the want of bread supplied by the graces and comforts of God’s Spirit and with the supplies of them. (1.) We shall be strong for our spiritual warfare and work: The Lord God is my strength, the strength of my heart. (2.) We shall be swift for our spiritual race: “He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, that with enlargement of heart I may run the way of his commands and outrun my troubles.” (3.) We shall be successful in our spiritual enterprises: “He will make me to walk upon my high places; that is, I shall gain my point, shall be restored unto my own land, and tread upon the high places of the enemy,” Deut. 32:13; 33:29. Thus the prophet, who began his prayer with fear and trembling, concludes it with joy and triumph, for prayer is heart’s ease to a gracious soul.
When Hannah had prayed she went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. This prophet, finding it so, publishes his experience of it, and puts it into the hand of the chief singer for the use of the church, especially in the day of our captivity. And, though then the harps were hung upon the willow-trees, yet in the hope that they would be resumed, and their right hand retrieve its cunning, which it had forgotten, he set his song upon Shigionoth (Hab. 3:1), wandering tunes, according to the variable songs, and upon Neginoth (Hab. 3:19), the stringed instruments. He that is afflicted, and has prayed aright, may then be so easy, may then be so merry, as to sing psalms.”