I can hear it now, "If you had been reading your bible and praying, these things either would not have happened, or at least wouldn't have been as painful." Here's the thing: I was praying. I was reading my bible, and getting more out of it than I had in a long time. I was experiencing some of the greatest fellowship with the Lord that I had ever known. And yet, the hardships began to come in wave after wave; circumstances that were out of my control and that were combining to oppress my waking and sleeping moments.
As things began to slowly fall apart for me, I remember thinking, "I can do this. My soul finds rest in God alone. He will see me through these things." My mind went to passages I had read about the Lord never leaving us or forsaking us. I found comfort in the Psalms, especially Psalm 62, and still the trials continued. I felt like I was trapped on a high tower, and someone was, one by one, sawing off the legs...while my God observed.
The breaking point for me came while I was at work, when because of an equipment failure my company was in danger of losing everything. It was then that I cried out to the Lord:
"ARE YOU TRYING TO DESTROY ME?"
Exactly two seconds after that was out of my mouth, my mind went to the account of the Israelites in the wilderness with Moses. They grumbled against the Lord and accused Him of bringing them out of Egypt and into the desert to kill them. I had always disdained this way of thinking by the Israelites, who had seen God's goodness and might, yet when He allowed things to get tough so that they could be trained by EXPERIENCE to trust Him, they proved to be short sighted and faithless. Can you imagine a friend, your spouse, or your son or daughter accusing you of doing something wonderful for them just so you could take it away again?
So, in the heat of battle, I folded for awhile. Then I began to remember the Lord's words, that whom He loves, He disciplines. It was then that I began to recall my own words that if someone saw me going through a trial, that they would not just pray that I would be saved from going through it, but that I would learn all that God had for me in it.
Some matters that concerned me so much are getting better, and for this I am praising the Lord. Some are still around for me to trust the Lord. And He is trustworthy, and knows how much I can stand.
Here is a list of some things that I am either learning or being reminded of because of these things:
- In this life I am assured of trials as well as blessings.
- Since I belong to, and am part of the Lord's family, I am treated as such. God is not being cruel to me by trying me.
- Trials are allowed by God and are not meant to destroy me, but to train me.
- My struggles bring glory to God when I demonstrate my trust in Him and wait for Him instead of acting (and speaking) rashly.
- Struggles teach me patience and build character.
- Therefore new trials that come my way will not be easier than the last.
- My trials should allow me to understand and sympathize with the trials of others.
- The comfort the Lord brings me in these times should be the same comfort I use to comfort others going through hard times.
- I am never too old or too spiritual to be tried and trained.
- Knowing what the Bible says about God's love and fatherly treatment of us must be coupled with a life that has experienced the same. It's one thing to say that God is all we need; it's quite another to find that God is all we have.
27and you grumbled in your tents and said, 'Because the LORD hates us, He has
brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites
to destroy us. (Deuteronomy 1:27 NASB)
5My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. 6He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. 7On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. 8Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah. (Psalm 62: 5-8)