Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Friend to Friend
Pain and crisis are familiar companions in my life. A close friend recently told me our family should do a reality television show because no one would believe what we deal with on a daily basis.
Can you relate?
The reality is that we live in a broken world. Trials and trouble are a byproduct of that broken world. I have repeatedly pleaded with God for an exemption clause, but there doesn’t seem to be one – this side of Heaven. However, I have discovered an amazing truth that makes it easier to face every shattering moment that lies ahead.
Isaiah 45:3 I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
God has gone before us and has hidden a treasure at the heart of every trial. He has stored riches in secret places. That treasure can only be found when we go through the trial. Those riches can only be discovered when we walk straight ahead through our fear.
God has chosen to deposit His joy and His most precious treasures in the deepest sorrows. One of my favorite Laura Story songs is Blessings.
What if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?
I wonder. Are my trials and afflictions and physical pains somehow God’s love and goodness and mercy to me? Does the pain I feel enable me to know Him more and better understand and even feel the pain of others?
And I know this. My frail humanity is a constant reminder that this world is not my home. Everything here is temporary. And I am so very glad! The next chapter is stunning! This world is not my home, but Heaven surely is!
Frederick Buechner called it the “stewardship of pain.” “Keep in touch with your pain,” Buechner advised. “Keep in touch with it because it is at those moments of pain where you are most open to the pain of other people – most open to your own deep places. Keep in touch with those sad times because it is then that you are most aware of your own powerlessness, crushed in a way by what is happening to you, but also most aware of God’s power to pull you through it, to be with you in it.”
So here is my daily challenge – to keep my gaze on Him and my glance on my circumstances. And as long as I have breath, I will stay in the fight, leaving everything I have on the playing field of life every single day.
We are waging an eternal battle. The stakes are higher than any battle that has ever been fought or ever will be fought. Eternity hangs in the balance. When others see us walk through the firestorms of this world with a strength and power that cannot be explained in human terms, they want to know how and why.
Jesus. Simply Jesus. He is the “how,” and He is the “why.”
Don’t lose heart, my friend. God is with you. God is not surprised by the circumstances in your life.
Not a single tear you cry goes unnoticed by Him. In fact, He collects each one of those tears in His bottle.
Psalm 56:8 (NLT) You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.
One day, He will pour those tears back into your life as a refreshing rain of peace and joy. Until then, rest in Him and just be held.
I want to know Him more. I want others to wonder why I am so joyful when there doesn’t seem to be one logical reason why I should be. I want to trust God as never before and step out in faith with no visible safety net below. I want to pray with shameless audacity, knowing God absolutely loves it when I do! Join me in a new faith adventure of trusting God.
Father God, I want to become a woman of faith, but I am so weak. I constantly battle fear and my faith seems so small. Please give me a new thirst for Your Word. I choose to focus on You instead of focusing on my circumstances. I turn to You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Now It’s Your Turn
In your journal, write a prayer of commitment to know and serve Jesus more. What would that look like in your life? Recruit an accountability partner who will periodically ask you how you are doing in this new faith adventure.
More from the Girlfriends
What does it mean to trust God? What would your life look like if you were walking by faith and trusting God with your whole heart? The 10-Day Trust Adventure addresses how to make life decisions as you step out in faith and really trust God.