Car accidents and lost jobs stain the end of my 2017 story. Until you are in the midst of the fire, you have no idea what you are capable of or what doubts and questions you will have. It is where the rubber meets the road.
The last two months have been filled with a lot of silence and silence can be such a beautiful thing especially being a teacher, but when it pertains to communicating with God, however; it isn’t so beautiful. The silence becomes agonizing. Repeatedly in my devotions the command to be still was being reiterated both about its definition but also for its necessity. Be still is not what I want to read when I am going through a trial (Psalm 46:10). It is quite the opposite. I want to read Scripture that points to the Almighty hand of God reaching out to cease the anxiety, the worry, the struggle I am experiencing. I want to run to His arms that promise to be strength as my husband and I adjust to a new normal. I want the Scriptures that tell me everything is going to be okay. I want peace that surpasses my understanding because nothing I tell myself eases the questions or the fear.
In the silence, after many tears, after many questions, I was still. I was still for a long time. Not just one day, but several. Waiting and praying for the answers to come, for the peace to flood, and the circumstances to change. But they didn’t. But my heart did.
Suffering and pain are riddled and entangled into every stitch that produces the fabric of our life. Sin does that. I am thankful that through Christ’s sacrifice that our sin is eradicated and covered by His blood completely, but knowing that the battle of its presence still remains until He returns. It doesn’t eliminate the natural reactions to severe testing. The last two months have been filled with words drowned in desperate cries, “Help my unbelief”, “Tell me that you will make a way out of this”, “Why are you letting this happen?” Is it true that one day I will go home to the place that promises no tears, no pain, and no suffering? Is this momentary affliction worth it in the end? Honestly taking deeps breathes that ended in wondering if this season would crush me. If He is God of the hills and valleys? Why do I feel so alone?
I started to see a pattern develop as I was shouting these statements out to the Lord. My first thoughts resorted to doubt instead of clinging to grace which has promised to be sufficient for me in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). It was in the silence that I was able to concentrate on what truly was going on in my heart. My theology of God was being influenced by my circumstances. I cut the ties of our communication with my unbelief. I cut the communion between Him and I because of fear and distrust. Instead of casting my cares upon him, I harbored it as if I could change the situation. I wasn’t alone, but what I allowed to take first priority in my heart shouted above His voice.
Recently, I was comforted by the words found in an excerpt written by Charles Spurgeon. “Doubt not His grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that He loveth thee as much in the seasons of trouble as in the seasons of happiness.” In every season, He loves me. In every season, He remains good. In every season, He is there. And one day, I will go home to the place He has promised for His children.
For now, my season hasn’t changed. I still tremble to get behind the wheel of the car and we continue to navigate the waters of a one-person income. I don’t know about tomorrow. Honestly, I don’t know about my next 5 seconds here on this earth. But I know that He cares for me and wants me to live a life that is pleasing to Him by being obedient to what He commands me to do. If that is to trust Him, do it. If it means to seek Him, do it. If it means to serve and cling to Him, do it. If it means to be still, do it.
In the midst of these last couple trials, I have longed to go home to Jesus. But not for the means of just escaping, but wanting the promise to be fulfilled that one day I will stand before Him, my just, loving, and kind King, knowing that it was by His sacrifice that I am able to come home. It was by His calling my heart to repentance that I am able to come home. I am able to stand in His embrace as He welcomes me home. Oh, how my feet ache to walk the streets of gold with Jesus Christ. How my heart yearns for the time when trials and suffering will be seen not as the prison cells they feel like, but for the self-revealing, character building times they shaped me to be as a follower of my Most High King and future heir of heaven (2 Corinthians 4:17).
But until that time comes, I pray to not doubt His grace because of my trials and circumstances but to believe (and pray for help in my unbelief), that He loves me no matter what season I find myself in and wants me to be obedient no matter even if it means in the stillness, trials, or utter happiness.
Let your kingdom come, Lord. Let your will be done. Yahweh, I cannot wait until the yearning is over and I am home. Let us all pray to be the hands and feet that spread the light of the Gospel in the dark until that time comes.