“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
So I’ve had this idea in my head on what the next blog post I posted would be. It was gonna be about this long season of suffering and trials and issues and things after things after things it has been for us. For me and for my family. It really has been just one thing after the other. It was going to highlight all the ways in which we have been suffering and continue to suffer. But yesterday God changed my heart.
I’ve heard people say that God allows suffering and trials for people whom he cares for and loves and doesn’t want to stray from His path. I never thought of using the word suffering or the idea that the season we are in is one of suffering. But God Himself uses suffering in the context of, suffering because of your commitment to Jesus but also uses it to bring us closer to Him. That it is a blessings to be put through these things. And maybe that’s true, I mean I cling to that truth. I do. And I’m thankful, not in the moment so much … In the moment I’m one breathe away from throwing in the freakin towel on this whole darn thing but looking back, I am thankful. Because in this suffering I feel God clining to me as much or even more as I am clinging to Him.
I had my follow up MRI yesterday … On my birthday. How do you know your getting old??? You start scheduling dr appointments on your birthday instead of birthday parties. Friends, do you know how close the MRI machine and brackets they put above your head are in a brain MRI? I mean…I think I could have stuck out my tongue and it would have hit it. And it’s so loud on there … The test flat out drains the life from you. But as I layed there yesterday God whispered something to me.
He whisped … “Andrea … Your so good at naming trial after trial … Suffering after suffering. The enemy convinces you that all these things are bad. But what if they are all good? Don’t you remember that its not meaningless. It’s doing something!! Cling to that truth. Hold on to it and hold on to my unfailing love for you. I only have love for you … It’s all done in love. So the enemy shows you suffering after suffering but don’t let him win … Just don’t … Focus on the good things, the blessings, where these sufferings and trials have brought you … Your family. I am the only one who will never ever let you down. My grace and mercy is ever present in your life. It will never fail you.”
And it’s so true … How easy is it to focus on the suffering … The trials. Whether it is the work of the enemy or just the fall of man and the sin that we live in, whatever it is it’s always easier to see those things vs seeing the blessings. Easier to highlight prayer requests then it is to offer up praise for the Lord, highlight the blessings He has placed upon us.
So I don’t want to focus on our trials, on the suffering that we feel, the things that keep knocking us down just as we have gotten back up. I’m gonna pray that my eyes would be opened up to the good things, the blessings, the praises. Even in the midst of our chaos, God redeems and restores and His grace and mercy never stop raining down on us.
It’s been a hard year. For all of us and for a lot of you as well. Praying so hard for you friends, that we can keep going, that we can see the good, because He is good friends. He is. He is only good. He’s a good good father.
It’s just like the Lord to get my strapped down and crammed in an MRI machine and begin to speak to me. Laying there palms open, strapped in, no other distractions, focusing on breathing and not freaking out … then to whisper to me … He knows me too well.