I wrote most, if not all, of the posts on this site from a season of intense trial and emotional pain. The details of personal loss, deep betrayals, and painful unraveling remain vague as my intent is never to expose people, especially those who are forgiven. I hope, rather, to share this reality: God allows, even orchestrates, painful crushing in our lives for the purpose of molding, maturing, and changing us for His service and glory, conforming us to the image of His Son. The Lord may lead us into a confusing wilderness, strip away all personal foundations, and take away our health, ministry and possessions. We may cry a million tears, be wrapped in anxiety and turmoil, and sojourn alone but our confidence must lie in the sovereignty of God and His utter control over every circumstance. For quite sometime I gripped onto this truth:
“Grain for bread is crushed but no one threshes it forever.”
I did not die during those recent years although some emotional pain was so intense I feared brain damage or heart attack. No counselor, friend or elder brought relief, only clinging to the Lord, shutting away with Him in prayer, searching and studying His word.
Then, one day I took off my wig – (did I mention that my hair fell out?) and saw and felt…could it be…that, after two years of wearing wigs my hair was suddenly coming back? With much trepidation, “Yes, I think so!” While gradual inner healing and restoration came from the Lord, this was a personal touch from His hand – and the hair that grew back was better than what I lost!
But there was more. This month, as a significant birthday approached, there was talk of a ‘party’. I had not felt an inner place of ‘celebration’ for a long time and certainly did not care to celebrate just getting older. Somehow, though, a ball started rolling and would not stop with my protests. One night anxiety rebounded and woke me, and I cried to the Lord in prayer. This scripture pressed upon my heart,
“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.” (I Peter 5:6)
Was this party from the Lord? I believed and accepted it, peace came over me and I sought to honor Him. I did not know the details of this ‘party’ but prepared a handout for my guests, most if not all of whom do not know the Lord, many are seniors…”Over the Hill” like me!No one except the Lord knows how the evening touched me – real joy took root in my heart. I had the rare opportunity of addressing all my relatives in one place…
With the Armenian band and joy in my heart I felt truly festive!
And a fabulous cake as well!
What Isaiah spoke of Jesus, “…it was the Lord’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer” can also pertain to Christ’s followers who are called to pick up their cross and follow Him. Trials and tribulations on this journey are purposeful, with eternal value. We are His own. We have every supernatural promise to believe that He will protect us, sustain us, speak to our hearts – heal and restore. And what’s more, at the right time, He will lift us up!