Lately, I’ve been dealing with a lot of changes in my life. So in the same week that I am moving to my new apartment, I have fought a cold and my “women’s week” all at the same time. Fun stuff, I know. I woke up this morning and said…”God..really?” It’s not bad enough that I can’t stop blowing my nose but I have to deal with this too? This is one of those “life is not fair” days. My emotions become a rollercoaster. I go from angry to sad to sappy to exhausted.
I was just laying in bed and I started reading this in my old school devotion book called “Streams In The Desert”. This really caught my eye and then I laughed at my big man in the sky and said, “Haha well isn’t this coincidental that I would read this at this exact time in my life.”
I digress again. I will share with you what it says. (Mind you, this is from yesterday’s devotion which I had to catch up on.)
God selects the best and most notable of His servants for the best and most notable afflictions, for those who have received the most grace from Him are able to endure the most afflictions. In fact, an affliction hits a believer never by chance but by God’s divine direction. He does not haphazardly aim His arrows, for each one is on a special mission and touches only the heart for whom it is intended. It is not only the grace of God but also His glory that is revealed when a believer can stand and quietly endure an affliction.
Christians with the most spiritual depth are generally those who have been taken through the most intense and deeply anguishing fires of the soul. If you have been praying to know more of Christ, do not be surprised if He leads you through the desert or through a furnace of pain.”
(Finishing this prayer pierced my heart)
Dear Lord, do not punish me by removing my cross from me. Instead, comfort me by leading me into submission to Your will and by causing me to love the cross. Give me only what will serve You best, and may it be used to reveal the greatest of all your mercies; bringing glory to Your name through me, according to Your will.
How powerful that was to me as I read it. The ones who have the most grace have suffered the most. To me, that means if I am in a situation where I have nothing but grace…despite how I feel in that situation, I have everything I need. Affliction and all. This is a special word for someone suffering in this very moment. Not just me in my minor physical duress. But to someone who has cancer, may God bestow that very grace upon them to endure. I meet people in the clinic I work at who have that look of grace upon them. Their bodies are weak, but their hearts are strong. This look of peace that even though they are being put through the fire…they have developed a stronger will. To not give up. Or to accept it as it is.
God’s will is to not give us afflictions. But to give us grace, to give us strength. Even though it feels the exact opposite….His will is not for us to suffer. For some in suffering, it can make a person bitter or it can make a person regain an inner strength that only He can give. I’m not saying it is a unnatural emotion to think you are being punished or hated. But to those who change their attitude despite the circumstance…can change your circumstance. God knows what to do to reach your heart. He allows us to experience pain at times so we can appreciate when He heals us from it. If we allow Him to. If we don’t let him in, that pain will just sting even greater and our hearts will become colder.
My pain, your pain, whether it be a physical pain or a mental pain, is for a purpose. It is how we deal with our pain that will determine who we become. It is a choice in how we deal with things. We can either say “God, I can’t handle it. Give me grace even though I don’t feel happy about this.” Or we can say…”I’m fine. I don’t need anyone. And end up empty and alone.” Pain is not a choice. How you deal with it is.
Just be honest with God. Even if it’s a small prayer. Invite Him into your situation. He can change it. I promise you that. But it may not happen the way you want it to or when you want it to. But it will change. And you can control the climate of the change by what your attitude is.
In closing this blog, I wish grace and peace to comfort you. I know the holidays are coming up. Not only can that be stressful, but it can make your emotions come to the surface, good or bad. Don’t let your emotions control you. Don’t let them lie to you, which is mostly what they do. But let God guide your emotions and your thoughts. Read the big book called The Bible, which will give you a sense of certainty again that you are not alone and you were not made to be alone. I will be fighting my emotions with you. But know this too. You are MUCH loved by Him. Even in your affliction. He wants to hug you and hold you. He wants to wipe your tears. He wants to give you freedom. Don’t listen to what the world says. Listen to what He says. You are so important in His eyes. Believe that even if everyone else tells you different. It is not over. It is just the beginning.
Love you Warriors,