My posts over the last three months have been sporadic, and for that I apologize. The trial the Lord warned me of in January began in March, and it’s been a doozey! We’re not completely through this time of testing, but the end is drawing near.
Our lesson has mainly been that of learning to “live and let live;” of loving others where they are without trying to fix their problems. Since the Lord gave us “guinea pigs” with which to practice…eight of them, in fact…this obviously was a necessary lesson.
The empty dog collar I purchased earlier this year (read about it here) played heavily into this time of training. If I had any traces of “control freak” they are surely gone now, for life has been completely out of my control.
This is a season of letting go of everything…ministry, writing, composing, even regular get-togethers with friends. My tidy little schedule of household chores was tossed out the window, and the only things I know will happen for sure are church on Sunday, and our two home groups. Beyond these, the rest is not mine to plan.
Not in an unhealthy way, in case you are wondering.
With two other families here, each with various appointments and comings and goings, there simply has been no way to maintain the steady ebb and flow to which I had grown accustomed. With 5-7 children to love, listen to, and referee, life has no rhythm, which leaves me feeling off-balanced. The security of knowing – even roughly – how each day will go is gone.
Don’t get the idea that I’ve been a ‘model’ Christian through all this. I have not! Lessons I was meant to learn will, no doubt, be revisited in the future until I can pass the tests.
Countless times, I’ve reminded the Lord of Romans 5:5…that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Spirit. “Lord, I need this to bubble up out of my heart and onto those around me. I’m running on empty. If You don’t do this for me right now, it’s gonna get ugly!”
Amazingly enough, He has been faithful to do just that. Within the hour, peace returned, and people were treated with kindness.
Why was I so surprised when He assented?…especially in light of 2 Peter 1:2-4
“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”
I discovered that when I ask for His power, He gives it in abundance.
Why? Because He wants me – and you – to become partakers of His divine nature.
At this point, I’m thankful that the Lord didn’t acquiesce and release us from this time of training (even though I asked Him on a regular basis…sometimes hourly!). We (both my hubby and I) discovered that these promises are, indeed, ours to claim – and that God is faithful to fulfill His Word to us.
Over the last three months, He took the lesson I learned in Nicaragua to a deeper level. (Read “Bitten“) That was a one-time, short lesson, where I was taught that God says what He means, and means what He says. When I put my full weight on His promises, He was faithful to carry me through.
I sense echoes of that lesson in our current circumstances…only we are having to trust Him like that on an ongoing basis. I call on His strength to carry me through often throughout each day.
I wanted this to be over long ago. I begged, pleaded, bargained even. All to no avail. I want to have the qualities Peter spoke of in 2 Peter 1, but without having to go through any experience in which they could be developed…kind of like wanting a fit body by taking some pills! That’s not going to happen!
No, when it comes to growing in grace, and maturing spiritually, situations that stretch us are necessary. It’s going to take consistent work-outs in life’s gym. It will be strenuous. we will come to the place where we can’t do one more rep…but it’s the next one or two more that bring the most benefit, for these are possible only in the Lord’s strength.
Day by day, we become stronger. “Sets” that used to take us out become easier, and our confidence in God’s faithfulness during tough times grows exponentially.
The wonderful thing is that when we look into the mirror of the Word, we realize that we are actually beginning to resemble Jesus!
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
May the Lord give you perseverance to continue steadfast in the faith, trust in His faithfulness, and peace in your storms. And may you look like spiritual “Arnold Schwarzeneggers” as you “work out” that which the Lord has put within you!