Thursday, June 7, 2012

There is peace.

This summer is not what I expected.

My family has been spiritually attacked within the last month.  I feel as if we are attempting to swim through rough waters.  Each time one of us manages to lift our head to take a breath, an even taller wave comes to smash us back down against the rocky bottom.

Some trials are easy to explain, like my grandmother breaking her hip and the decisions we must now make about her living arrangements.  Or like a terribly difficult situation we've had with my younger sister.  Or like the suicide of my sister's young friend and the resurfacing of emotions and memories that have come from that. Or like the painful injury my mom had this very night that may end up changing the course of the summer; we'll have to see about that.  Other trials are nearly impossible to put into words.  

I believe my family is being tested, each of us individually as well as a unit.  And we can either shatter against the pavement or we can find our wholeness in the Lord.

The depth of our valleys indicate the height of our mountains.  We are being refined.  Isaiah 48:10 says, "I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering." I love Romans 8:28, which says, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God."  He is working.  His glory is shining through, even in the darkest of moments.

I don't know if this summer will become any easier.  When it rains, it pours.  More trials may come.  Perhaps I am being prepared for a mountain greater than I could ever imagine on my own.

All that is left to do is crumble to my knees and say, "God, show me Your heart in this.  Bring glory to Your Name from this.  Let me find joy in this place."  Psalm 91:4, one of my favorite verses, says, "He will cover you with His feathers.  He will shelter you with His wings.  His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

God, I want to find the wholeness of my beingmy joy, my identity, my peace, my hope, my transformation—in You alone.

Although I am not under attack by a human enemy, this next verse has brought me great comfort.
1 Samuel 25:29 
Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the Lord your God, secure in his treasure pouch! But the lives of your enemies will disappear like stones shot from a sling!
I am resting secure in the Lord's treasure pouch.  He cherishes me; I am valued as a treasure to Him. And even when I feel like I am broken or drowning, He has already won.  As Christ brings comfort and strength through these days of refinement, glory is the Lord's.  2 Corinthians 1:4 says, "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."

There is stillness in these rough waters.  Satan will not win.  Each time I break down in tears and ask the Lord to take it away, He whispers, "Have peace."  John 16:33 says, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

There is peace.

And if it means bringing glory to God's Name, if it means growing in Him, I'll accept it with joy.  Without Christ, I am shattered.  In Him, there is strength, wholeness, joy, and such peace.
Matthew 11:28
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."

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