When God Strips and Shrinks Your Life

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), starring Grant Williams

There is no need to describe how God can strip our lives of the very things that fulfill us, define us, and give our hearts joy. He can do it in harsh succession – uprooting and shaking the very foundations of our lives – our job, marriage, health and subsequent emotional stability. Those who have walked with the Lord for any length may, at first, rally great inward faith, “I lost my job but I know God has something better!” But the ‘better’ job or calling doesn’t come. Instead, other pillars of life begin to shake and crumble, stripping your sense of security, strength, and pleasure. Emotional damage begins to take root.

What should we believe and do when God strips and shrinks our lives?

1. Believe that, if your life is in His hand, if you’ve truly given your life to Jesus Christ, nothing that has occurred is random, nothing is outside of His personal view, nor is it outside of His personal will for your life. While God doesn’t owe us explanations, we must build and renew our thinking on the foundation that He is sovereign.

2. Meditate on the testimonies and truths in God’s word. Numerous godly men were stripped of their life’s strengths, familial standing, and provisions while at the ‘top of their game’. We often make quick and convenient connections in the lives of Biblical heroes – neglecting to meditate upon, for example, Joseph’s captivity as a slave, his years languishing in a dungeon. We believe spiritual exploits and victories but rarely consider the years of obscurity, loneliness, and ‘insignificance’. We are slow to imagine how Job prepared 10 funerals, clearing the rubble of his children’s home and cattle.

We read Revelation with awe, but what was John’s life like every day on the tiny barren island of Patmos? He had walked with the Son of God, witnessed miracles and partook in world evangelism. Overseeing the churches of Asia, John was a prominent elder, pouring into the foundations of Christian growth. Yet, aged and frail, he was exiled and stripped of familiar fellowship, position, and provisions – with untold sufferings – did his life shrink?

3. When life is shaken, don’t condemn yourself for bouts of depression, anxiety or panic attacks. We wouldn’t lecture a brother or sister suffering from cancer, neither should we lecture ourselves or others when struggling with emotional damage. Healing and deliverance can come instantaneously or can be upon a steady road, walking slowly alongside our Savior.  Resolve to DERAIL patterns of wrong thinking as the Lord brings revelation and renewal. Here is where emotional damage can lead to true spiritual growth.

4. Believe that the world sees suffering as misfortune, bad luck, victimization or bad karma but we, as believers can see suffering as separation unto God, allowed and/or brought about by God Himself.

5. Believe that we as Christians, may have consciously separated our thinking and values from those esteemed in the world but, in these last days, the Lord want to call out His remnant from world-like Christianity. The ‘happy clappy biblical coaching’ that masquerades as truth sets grooves of wrong thinking in our soul, building a perishable faith. God expressly calls us to ‘stand’ in these increasingly wicked last days. When God separates us for personal suffering it is refining fire but not futile fire. 

6. Believe and trust God for today and resist predicting what He will do tomorrow. God is absolutely not a formula God. What He specifically did for Moses, Paul, Ruth or the brother at church may not at all be His plans for us.

American Christianity rejects the truth that God can strip us and shrink us to prepare us for something so small, seemingly inconsequential, of no worldly value or importance. Rare is the sermon or even reference to verses such as Colossians 3:22, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything….with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.” God is not at all condoning slavery – regardless of race or national origin. However, Jesus did not come to abolish social order or establish prosperity. He came to ‘save His people from their sins’, a freedom won at great cost. He calls us to obey and flourish in Him regardless of our temporal worldly position or social standing, setting our eyes on eternity where God’s order and rewards are forever.

God’s appointed place for us while in this world may seem to diminish and suffer ruin but great loss lays bare the great need to find contentment and sufficiency in our Savior. Perhaps we will not proclaim great spiritual exploits, evangelize in exotic lands, win over death row inmates, or plant churches. Perhaps we are caring for a mentally or physically infirm spouse, a disabled elderly parent, or showing kindness to neighbors in crisis. Perhaps we are in a solitary place, called to intimate fellowship with the Lord at length and in depth.

As these last days rapidly downward spiral, those in Christ surely want to make a mark on this generation and touch lives for eternity, knowing the power of the Holy Spirit living in us and through us.  Yet still, the Potter decidedly smashes our life at times, ruining it to remake it. I pray that during seasons of smallness and disappointment we resist the temptation to compare our lives against others or measure ourselves with worldly values.  Regardless of our circumstance, may the Lord be enlarged and lifted up.

“Lord, open our eyes to Your ways. In whatever You deem right to take from our temporal lives, I pray that we find our contentment,healing and encouragement in You. May we surrender our lives to Your sovereignty and fulfill Your unchanging exhortation to “stand firm in the faith” and “stand firm to the end.” Help us to “set our hearts on things above” and “set our minds on things above, not on earthly things”, being obedient to Your call upon us today.”

12 comments on “When God Strips and Shrinks Your Life

  1. Paul says:

    Great word
    I like the word shrink
    It’s so true,my world has shrunk to nothing except what he permits.
    The Lord gave me a series of visions 3.5 yrs ago that I would be emptied out & that I should be greatful. At times I have been and other times far from it.i said I don’t want to advocate for him in this but I understand what he is doing. I get Jobs confict that’s for sure. One minute he lements his own existence the next he is questioning God’s justice & then the next declaring God’s salvation. It get so weird it can only be God. “For I know my redeemed lives & he will stand on the earth in the last days.”

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    • Lisa Beth says:

      Thank you Paul for sharing your experience here. Hopefully all our trials will reveal more of God’s plan and power. Above all, as the Apostle Paul said, let’s “press on toward the goal” – and never give up. God bless you!

      Like

  2. Angela says:

    I have been as with my daughter completely put in a deep place of lost and no hope two yrs ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 lymthomoa spreading vastly befor this things were not as awlfull I used to hear gods voice and many other things but now all swept away like nothing had ever existed everything I do exsoecialy worlds things which I might add are pretty small I get attacked for by the enemy nothing even goes right either I repent allways but it’s like it never helps as my condition is on a high level death is no stranger do I really have such badness within that has to come out like anger etc I even get mad with god due to all this death is scary living is too so it’s like I’m in a matrix nothing seems real to a decree I allways pray for the lord to return to me as I’m now a hollow shell I pay that’s all I have left

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    • Lisa Beth says:

      Dear Angela, thank you for reaching out to me here. I’m actually at an ER with my dad who is in real decline. I am praying for you, trusting the Holy Spirit to renew your heart through His word.
      You do have faith or you wouldn’t even read a godly message and respond. Even if it’s just an ember, God sees your heart. May He fan into flame your hope in Him.
      No matter how we feel, we must resolve to not give up. You may feel you’re abandoned in a wilderness but “nobody threshes the wheat forever”, God will meet you and walk you through.
      Will keep you in prayer sister, as God conforms us to the image of His Son, preparing us for eternity with Him.

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  3. Franchesca says:

    I’m glad I found this article and testimonies because I am going through similar circumstances. All has been taken. Attacks and hearing the voice of God. I know unforgiveness is a big issue. I been told look at the things above. Be content. Joy. Not things as I would have it but as they are. Light in the dark. Resist Devil and he will flee. Perfect Love cast out fear. Amongst many emotions thoughts causing indignation. Get angry sin not. To have reference. I believe it’s called the fiery furnace. Please Pray. God Bless

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ana says:

    Hello sister Lisa,
    Is it possible to contact you directly, via email?

    Best regards,
    Ana

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sharon says:

    Lisa Beth I am living this rt now. I have been stripped of my only 2 sons and my mother in 2020-2021 within 1 year. I am HEARTBROKEN beyond imagination. I have been serving Christ my whole life and was stripped of my marriage and job In 2020. Please pray for me because all this suffering has damaged me emotionally and broken me down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa Beth says:

      Sharon, I will be praying for you today and will remember you in following days. I have found that only God can understand this emotional anguish – I found it worse than any physical pain i could imagine.
      My only relief was in the Lord. When I shut in with Him, even full of tears, He was faithful to impart inner peace.
      Most important, suffering compelled me to open His word and cry out to Him. Even though I felt dead inside, the word of God became alive.
      Professional therapist couldnt reach my pain but when I read, “Your statutes…are my counselors” I knew the Holy Spirit would minister to me. It was the hardest time but a most precious time of growing and walking with the Lord.
      I don’t want to dissuade you from seeking professional help. With or without that, this time of crushing can surely open a new and living chapter in your walk with Jesus.
      Press on sister, thank you.

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  6. Crucified Life says:

    In all honesty, I’ve given up on God and his promises. The rewards seem unappealing to me(ruling over others seems disagreeable to me and burdensome), and on account of God I’ve lived a crucified life of suffering so that he may be “glorified”. People say that, but what does that mean, to be compelled to live a life of suffering for God? It means since the time I was in the womb, on the account of God I’ve only known suffering, affliction and loss.

    To me, no matter how hard I try, the truth is in my life, God is an Unjust God to me. Sure, he was always with me, only to scope out the scene to figure out how best to afflict me so that he could be “glorified”. God wanted me to be the sad child that still kept faith regardless of how much suffering I was in. The child wearing little more then rags, hated and despised for no reason, yet faithful.

    Anything that could bring a smile to my face, or joy in my heart, God stripped away and gave to my enemies, in the hopes of luring them to him. My entire life as less then a slave, as chattel cattle to be butchered over and over and over again, in each season of my life, so others may be fed and find Christ and the Heavenly Father.

    My entire life, I existed but was not alive, nor allowed to live. I do not find God to be a Holy God, nor do his way’s seem righteous to me, because he has always been unjust to me. He claims to be merciful, but to me he has always been harsh and cruel.

    On account of God, I’ve lived a life of poverty and destitution. On account of God, any prosperity due to me is stripped away. He is a merciless bully. It is not a case of “idol of my heart”, more a case, that God always loved to abuse me, in order to be generous towards those he actually loves. Even if God stops doing evil to me, what of it? The damage he caused to my life is irreparable.

    I was named to honor him and his son, so my sperm donor despised me to the point of actually trying to murder me in the womb. He failed, but it resulted in me being born before I was ready, and lifelong health complications(poor eye sight, susceptibility to negative effects of vaccines, joint and other pains). Because I was born premie, had an allergic reaction which damaged my brain.

    In truth, that entitled me to support/settlement money, but that wasn’t in God’s plans for me. So God made everyones heart in my life cold to me and blind to my suffering and troubles. God poured affliction after affliction onto me, he kept handing me over to my abusers(result of the damage was docility, so made it easy for others to harm me. On account of my sperm donors continues targeting and abuse of me as a toddler, I developed selective mutism until I reached the age of 35).

    And then, in my late teen years, God poured ocean after ocean of suffering and affliction so my mind would be completely broken. God murdered me. He murdered my heart and my mind, and all but my soul. Why? Statue of limitations. God wanted me thoroughly broken so I could not see my wounds, and seek relief. After the statue of limitations ran out, God eased up alot. Then, when I found love, and my heart healed, in an instant I felt love for the first time in my life, God cruelly took it away. He intentionally injured me to take my memory of that night away.

    Even with all my issues and new issues, between my sperm donor and God, through hard work I managed to pass through my course of education, then God shut every door to me, and what little I had, God stripped it away and forced me into greater destitution and hopelessness. Then he dragged me into a kind of spiritual, emotional and financial wilderness and used me.

    He revealed to me prophecies of horror, that caused me to be persecuted. He revealed things of Heaven which caused me to despair, and in all things showed me that he is an Unjust God. If I prayed for my enemies I seen great miracles, for those I cared about sadness and for myself? Yeah, he beat me for those prayers. How dare I concern myself with my own well being. I’m just cattle that exists to feed those whom God actually cares about.

    In truth, I despise the Children of God almost as much as I despise the Children of Satan. After all, if there are those who mock you in your suffering, you will naturally despise them more then those that turned an intentional blind eye to your suffering.

    God is an unjust tyrant, that is incapable of being Just, in so far as he might profit from being Unjust.

    Why should I suffer for the sake of those who turned a blind eye to my suffering? Why should I live my life as a celibate monk, only existing to be a eunuch slave to a God who was always unjust to me? I just want to be free. God is cruel to me and without mercy. As a small child when other children talked of Heaven, in my heart I said “Heaven is for other people”, on account of the suffering God had put me through.

    Now? “Why would I want to spend eternity with such an unjust God who prospered greatly from doing evil to me?”. To those that would judge me harshly, I hanged on for over thirty years before the first time my heart was provoked towards anger towards God.

    My entire life, I always had to work so hard, for the smallest crumb of moldy stale bread. I can’t do it anymore. The Emperor has no clothes, yet demands I applaud his new robes. To me it is all a lie.

    There were so many avenues, so many paths that if God allowed just one of them, I could of known some measure of happiness, some measure of prosperity. But he seen by doing evil to me, what he would gain and could not resist. Now all paths have closed. I exist, to suffer and die for the sake of a God that has always been Unjust to me, and a Savior that condemned me since I was in the womb.

    My soul cries out for freedom, even if it is the freedom to cease to exist. Even if God genuinely regretted all the evil he did to me, and sought to make amends, it is way too late. Maybe if I repent of this, in another 30 years when I’m old and grey God will restore a measure of what he had taken so he can pat himself on the back and say “see, look at the good things I’ve done to my slave I’ve treated harshly all these years”. Even if he greatly extended my life, all he would be doing is extending days of disgrace, ignoring how he is the God who devoured my time in the womb, devoured my entire childhood, devoured my entirety of youth and young adulthood.

    To me, there is little difference between the Heavenly Father and Satan, Christ and the Antichrist, for they all seek to do evil to me and delight in my suffering(albeit for different reasons). I just want out. What cause does the Heavenly Father and Christ have to do evil to me? I never desired eternal life. Not once. Closest was as a teen when I desired to slumber outside the walls, as Lazarus sought refuge outside the walls of the rich man.

    I repent in being begotten and mourn the day of my birth, and repent of any faith or trust I had in the Heavenly Father and his Son. They have always been ungenerous towards me, like everyone else in my life.

    The Heavenly Father is only God to Satan, so let Satan and Satan’s children give him worship and praise. In a life when one has need of a God, God is only God to Satan. In the New Creation when men and women no longer marry and beget, and there are no problems, then the Heavenly Father says he will be God to me and my people? Pass, my heart does not long for such a corrupt God.

    Christ said his yoke was light, but I’ve found his yoke to be just as cruel and merciless as Baals. Since the womb, Christ demanded my sacrifice and death, over and over and over again. So I’m done. After a lifetime of misery, lovelessness, with any joy or happiness crushed before me before it could even form, I’m done.

    Sometimes I wonder, did Judas Iscariot call Christ “friend” before or after he gave him a kiss on the cheek to signify to the Temple Guard to take Christ away for torment?

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    • Lisa Beth says:

      Dear Crucified Life, thank you for sharing, at such length, the deep sufferings of your life. I am almost speechless but must respond. You have articulated great pain, even from the womb, going on to a life of suffering and deprivation of love. Sadly, I must admit, you’re probably not exaggerating. I have no doubt that in this dark and wicked world, filled with cruel people, you have come to know such oppression.
      I can only wonder, in the tremendous list of indictments, if you’re perhaps accusing the wrong ‘villain’. Do the offenses really fit the profile of God, creator of the universe?
      Have you considered a possible other guilty party undergirding your sorrows and grief? Might you consider the profile of Satan, the ‘great deceiver’, the ‘accuser of the brethren’, the ‘father of all lies’ who is ‘filled with fury’ and ‘armed with cruel hate’? His greatest mission on earth is to slander and blaspheme God, building arguments, accusations, and nearly incontrovertible cases against the Lord.
      I cannot convince anybody of anything but friend, believe me, it is possible to live an entire life founded on a strong yet false belief system. We are no match for the supernatural power of Satan and his ability to manipulate, distort, lie, deceive and convince. No match at all.
      Have you ever shut away with God, perhaps fasting, retreating alone with your Bible? You would have to loosen your grip on certainty of all the accusations and open your heart to His truth speaking within you.
      Utter anguish and despair are a well-trod route with an ultimate motive of life destruction. Demons pave that path. Please consider that you’ve indicted the wrong person, mounted a case with tremendous misinterpretation.
      I pray you will be freed by the Truth. Only the Holy Spirit can unravel tightly woven ‘convictions’ and bring such revelation. May your heart be open to receive.

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