just something to think about today:
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ,
the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
(John 11:25-27 NKJV)
My friend I don't know what your "this" is... but I know I am going through one. The thing is, I just keep calling it "this" because I don't know what it is or how to even describe it. I don't know if it is my faith being tested, if I am "birthing something new" or maybe it is just simply God trying to bring me through something. All I do know is that "this" hurts, and it is a struggle, and it is difficult... And it seems as if God keeps leaning down to ask me, "will I love Him even in this?"
Even in this where I can't see my way clear, there seems to be no answers, no understanding; just an expectation that there is so supposed to be so much more, but it is just out of grasp... and the question is, "Will I trust Him even in this?"
And each time I find myself taking a breath with a strange sort of "weight" inside of me and saying, "Yes." I still believe that God is God. I still believe that God is good. I still believe that God is faithful. "Even in this" I believe.... it is really weird because I keep looking at my hands to see the rope burns, because part of me feels like I am hanging on by shreds, but at the exact same time, there is a calmness inside of me. And when I am very still I can feel -- that it is NOT me. Or better yet; it is NOT coming from me.
This is what Jesus wanted to know from Martha in the face of the death of their brother; did she believe? And Martha said "Yes Lord, even now I believe...." And I truly believe that God still comes to us in times such as that to see if, "Even in this, are we still His?" Can we (do we) still love and worship Him when times are hard, or when hurt and sorrow have come?
I think this is where true faith is revealed. I think that when we get to a point where we have nothing left, where we are simply just wrung out and hung up to dry; that we see what our faith is really made of. But even more importantly-- SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE. Anyone we have come in contact with during our walk where we say, "Oh sure, I believe God is God..." is there to see when it comes right down to it-- what is inside.
My friend, how are you wearing your faith? Are you grumbling? Or are you still maintaining stride even in "this?" Any one can shout from the mountain tops, but how are you standing on your faith in the valley? Because this is where true witnessing comes from. This is where you put your faith where your mouth is. And it is at times like this that our faith has a chance to grow and be strengthened-- and when we reach the other side we can look back and be amazed at seeing the hand of God that has brought us through.
I say that because Jesus told His disciples "go to the other side" He did not tell them to go half way across and come dead in the water. I know He doesn't expect us to either. So I know that some way or some how, I have to be able to come to the other side of my "this." I will-- and you will too.
I may have to make a circle in the desert a few times-- OK I HAVE circled the desert a few times, but I know that there will also come a time that God will bring me to the edge of the river and say, "Now go up and take the ground I am giving you." And when this time comes for me (and for you) let it NOT be unbelief that keeps us out.
And do you know that for all the "hardship" I can honestly say there HAS been joy and peace inside. That even in this, when I take the time to just stop and listen, when I come to a place where I just "wait" I can feel strength rising in the very depths of my heart that can ONLY come from God. And then I can feel a peace budding in me, and that brings joy because though on the outside nothing has changed, I know that God is still there, He is still by my side, and THAT brings a smile to my face. And I think that is what we need to do-- to seek out and find the joy that is there that comes with the peace in knowing, even in "this." I believe that is where we will truly find God. That it is in the "loving Him even in this" where we will experience His mightiness, and willingness to work on our behalf. I believe that when we lean into Him in times of "things we just can't explain;" that is where we will see that He really is there walking with us, and will bring about things for us to smile about.
My friend I want to encourage you today. God is still the same God as before. The same God who parted the Red Sea, is the same God now. Times have changed. People have changed, the way we eat, dress, and play have changed... BUT GOD has not changed. My prayer recently has been "Show that God to me. Come in and be THAT God for me, and in my life. Please step in and make Your presence known. Knock me off my feet with the unimaginative. Show my children, show my family, show those around me that YOU ARE GOD."
My friend, will you join me?
I wish you well, and may God shine upon you in all of your endeavors today.