Welcome to my Wednesday feature God is So Good. Here I will share stories - true and fiction, mine and others' - of the Lord's presence in the midst of trials, struggles, and difficulties.
I was looking through FaithWriters Free Reprints (a GREAT place to find Christian content, by the way), looking for a post for my "guest slot" in God is So Good, and this one grabbed my attention. We like to think that suffering is only bad - that it is something to be endured. But Tracy reminded me that there is no time like suffering to draw us closer to Him. I pray this post blesses you.In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33b
By Tracy Nunes
Once in a Blue Moon, you feel the press of His Hands; the weight and power of them crumble your proud strength and your backside falls into a horizontal position. It is there that you find out what "Be still and know that I am God" really means (Psalm 46:10a).
Throughout our lives as Christians He'll often move pebbles - repeatedly -to get our attention. A little stone here and a little one there, until we gradually start to get a vision for the mountain He is building.
Or, He will speak in a gentle whisper just strong enough to float a feather. If we're paying attention we'll feel the slight brush of the plume as it glides over our cheek and follow it wherever it leads.
But, once in a Blue Moon, He will allow the full force of His presence to bear down on our circumstances and we can't help but be knocked off our feet. Choice is removed from the equation; He will have His way.
He will have His way and we can only choose how bad our struggle is going to get; the internal and eternal struggle, that is. He has ordained our state of affairs and there is no budging. Like a wild animal who has been caught for relocation to a safer place, but who perceives that it's been fixed in a trap engineered for its doom, we can beat against the cage and rage.
These last couple of years of my life have been a wild ride of highs and lows; higher highs than ever and lower lows by far. It culminated in the neurosurgery department at Kaiser Hospital where a disk in my neck was removed to make way for a Bioplastic doughnut and bone pulp with the hopes that it would eventually resolve long term pain.
They cut open my throat and moved aside everything that was in the way: esophagus, arteries, and ligaments in efforts to fix my ravaged spine. Surgery went well but weeks of post-op recovery forced me to sit still for prolonged periods of time. And, that was where I had a choice; to rage against it and feel sorry for myself (which I did do at times) or turn and embrace that Hand, heavy though it was.
And when I chose to grasp the Hand instead of slap it, I learned to be still and let Him do His handiwork. I learned that He can do things best when I stop trying to help Him. I found out that, as much as I thought I had learned in my walk with my Savior these 25 years, I'd yet come to complete surrender. It was a surrender that only could have happened when His heavy hand made me sit.
He made me sit and be completely unproductive, unhelpful, and unworthy so that I could find out that His love for me is not measured by how much I do for Him or for anyone else. It isn't measured by what treasures I gather to lay at His feet. It's measured by His willingness to step down out of heaven and into this world for my sake.
While He is present everyday and in all ways, He will occasionally give us a unique opportunity to see a glimpse of Heaven, a unique opportunity to hear His voice without distraction. Sometimes this gift will come wrapped up in pain and suffering and it will be tied with the bow of discouragement. But, it is a gift well worth opening.
Tracy lives in Hawaii with Richard, her husband of 25 years. She has 2 daughters and 2 grandsons. Writing ministry came after homeschooling her girls and a career in real estate management. Read her blog at: http://tracynunes.blogspot.com and find out why she is a self-described "Mess for Jesus."
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When there is nowhere else to lean, He is there. The clearest glimpses of Him often come in the midst of the worst of human circumstances. He is good!
Do you have a story you'd like to share about God's goodness in your struggles? Drop me an email and we can talk!
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength