I’m not sure if you recall me mentioning the awesome woman who has mentored me off and on for a number of years…but she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 34. I would love for y’all to join me in praying for her during this uphill battle. God has given her great faith, hope, peace and joy, knowing that He is writing His story in her life. But nonetheless it’s hard.
This brings a whole host of emotions for me. As much as I want to take it all away, I know that God is accomplishing great things amidst severe pain. I remember the gold produced by fire in our lives this summer. I know God is doing the same thing for the Dewar family as He did for us.
I just finished a fantastic book, recommended by my friend Leslie. Here are my favorite highlights from “Holding on to Hope” by Nancy Guthrie:
“Our faith keeps us from being swallowed by despair. But I don’t think it makes our loss hurt any less.
Embracing my grief means allowing it to do its work in me. Rather than running from or trying to ignore your grief, would you lean into it? Would you allow it to accomplish its healing work in your heart?
Would you be willing to invite God to walk with you during this sorrowful time so that you might experience His healing presence? Would you confront your feelings of hopelessness and heartache with truths from God’s Word so that it can become a healing power in your heart and mind?
Often worship is a matter of obedience. We worship because God is worthy, no necessarily because we “feel” like it. In the midst of a crisis, if we only do what we feel like doing, we could remain stuck in a cycle of self-pity. But when we worship, we get our eyes off of ourselves and our sorrow or problems. We focus them on God, and this puts our difficulties into proper perspective. Surely our worship in the midst of pain and sorrow is particularly precious to God—because it costs us so much. Worship is not made easier, but it becomes more meaningful when offered from a heart that is hurting. The truth is, worship during these times can be some of the most meaningful worship we ever experience. Perhaps we are more fully equipped to worship than ever before, because we are acutely aware of our desperate need for God and our own incapacitating weakness. We have our helplessness and inadequacy in proper perspective to God’s power and sufficiency.
Everything in our life is a gift. And the appropriate response to a gift is gratitude. God gives and God takes away. But let’s be honest: We just want him to give, don’t we? And we certainly don’t want him to take away the things or the people we love. When God takes away, if we’re able to focus on the joy of what was given, if only for a time, we take another step down the pathway toward the heart of god. Would you be willing to thank God for the gift He gave you and has now taken away? Would you ask God to help you loosen your grip on the gifts he has given you so you can feel the freedom of entrusting everything to His care? Would you accept His promise that HE can be enough?
Most of us spend our lives doing everything we can to avoid suffering. Have you ever notices that people who suffer are marked with a beauty, a deepening, a transformation? This only occurs when they enter the suffering and look around for God in the midst of it. Lam. 3:31-33 God does not willingly inflict meaningless suffering on His children. If God has allowed suffering into your life, it is for a purpose. A good purpose. A holy purpose. The world tells us to run from suffering, to avoid it at all costs, to cry out to heaven to take it away. Few of us would choose to suffer. Yet when we know that God has allowed suffering into our lives for a purpose, we can embrace it instead of running from it, and we can seek God in the midst of suffering. Accepting suffering drives us deeper in our devotion. Heb 5:79
Isaiah 53:10…it pleased the Father to crush Christ…Surely if God would require such intense suffering of his own Son, whom He loved, to accomplish a holy purpose, he has a purpose for our pain. The purpose is not to disfiure you for life, but to mold you into a person who thinks and acts and looks like Christ.
Would you be willing to stop asking, “Why?” and begin asking, “For what purpose?”
Yearning for Heaven is one purpose! Would you choose to place higher value on eternity that you place on this life? Would you recognize that often what feels like a tragedy is not, in reality an din light of eternity, a tragedy?
God does not often explain suffering or how to avoid suffering. Suffering is a mystery. When we know WHO God is, we can accept WHAT God gives—even when we don’t understand it. Our task is not to decipher exactly how all of life’s pieces fit and what they all mean, but to remain faithful and obedient to God, who knows all mysteries.
What is God calling you to submit to? Our calling is to submit to the plan God has laid out before us and to walk through it in a way that would bring him glory, a way that would exemplify what it means to trust Him in the midst of sorrow and difficulty and disappointment. Every day, a quiet, sorrowful acceptance of God’s plan and God’s timing. Shouldn’t we cry out to God with boldness and passion and persistence in a prayer that says, “God would you please accomplish your will? Would you give me a willing heart to embrace your plan and your purpose? Would you mold me into a vessel that you can use to accomplish what you have in mind and if that includes healing, we will be grateful.”
God wants to use the difficulties in your life not to punish you or hurt you, but to draw you to Himself.”
Please pray for our sweet friends!
Four Days left to enter the Paper Sunday Giveaway!! Leave a comment below to enter.