It is 2am on my 35th birthday and I can’t sleep. My mind is going a mile a minute and the tears just don’t want to quit. Good thing I took the day off today. I’m not sad, mind you. God is good and I’m more than blessed beyond measure; definitely blessed more than I deserve. But, my life is in faith-testing mode and it hurts.
I’m in a kind of limbo right now. I’m packing with no clue where I’m going or exactly when. I know joy awaits me, but as of right now I feel like I’m trapped in a glass bottle and someone is holding a flame under me.
The pain and tears are from my own uncomfortability (that’s not a word is it) with the patience and trust required of me. My flesh wants to connive and make things happen on my own, while my spirit says wait, be patient, and trust. It is the trying of my faith.
I had a dream last night where I was walking through a beautiful wood with lakes/ponds throughout. As I walked there was beautiful statues placed under water and on the grounds, three that I remember which depicted a woman at growing stages of pain and anguish. As I walked and looked upon these statues, I became more and more heartbroken, until the final one which caused me to cry out, “Oh God, why do we have to endure such pain?” As I rounded the final corner of the path, I looked deep in a pond and suddenly it all made sense: the woman the statue depicted was pregnant and in the throes of labor and delivery. The dream ended with a friend giving birth and my holding her baby girl. She brought me such immeasurable joy, I don’t think I have ever been so happy.
“Count it all joy, my brothers (or sisters), when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”James 1:2-4
I know there are those of you out there going through this same trying. It’s painful and a little scary, and not being in complete control of everything (are we ever really?) is unnerving to say the least. But, remember (as I’m reminding myself) that God knows the plans He has for you. His plans are for a future and for your good. He is for you, not against you. Three ways to endure this trying time are listed below:
- Pray without ceasing – be that persistent widow. Ask, seek, and knock. Jesus said, “Until now you have not asked anything in my name. Ask and you shall receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24) Lay your burdens on the Lord. Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you.
- Read the Word – fill up your spirit with the Word of God. It will satiate you, satisfy you, keep you. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) The Word is living and active and can speak to your current need. Search in it’s pages for encouragement. It will be your cheerleader and bring you peace.
- Don’t let the devil get a foothold – “Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) Trust even when it hurts. When it doesn’t make any human sense, trust Him. When it looks impossible, don’t trust your eyes – We live by faith, not by sight. And remember with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. He will not leave you stranded or abandoned or alone. He is very present. Take every thought against that captive and submit it to Jesus. He holds and is the very Truth that will set you free and His promises are yes and amen. Believe it.
That’s it. Pretty simple, right? I know, easier said than done. But worth it. If you endure the testing, you will be STEADFAST. And then you will have joy. Just keep going. Don’t quit. Be encouraged. He is on your side. Persevere. He’s got this. Whatever it is, whatever it may be, lay it down. Be at peace and build an altar to the Lord in this place of testing.
I think my Melatonin is finally kicking in, so I’ll leave it at that: Count it all joy. Goodnight (good morning?) and God bless.