My heart is overwhelmed within me and I am absolutely astounded at the depths of not only the wisdom of God, but of His love, most of all.
For the past month or more, I have been going through various trials and tribulations. For the most part, I had been doing well bearing up under the different pressures and fiery furnaces that I seemed to be cast into by the Lord on a seemingly daily basis. I kept my eye on Him, read the Word, praised the Lord God Almighty from a grateful heart and placed my will and emotions on the Lord’s altar daily.
This went on for quite a while and I was pleased with myself because in the past, whenever I had to endure a long trial, I would sometimes become impatient and deep in my heart would begin complaining. Oh, the outside, I was still praising God and saying “all the right things.” But in the inward parts of me that no one saw save the Lord, an unhappy thought or two would come to my mind. And instead of casting those thoughts down, I would mull over them and entertain them in my thinking processes and pretty soon, weeds of discontent would start growing in those inner recesses where no one but the Lord could get to them and then God would have to start the arduous process of shining the light of His Word on my heart, wait for me to repent and ask for His help, and then begin the painful–and deep–surgery of probing the nooks and crannies of me until He came to that dungeon located somewhere in the back of my heart, where He would see all of the weeds and brambles that had wrapped their way around my heart. Then the work would truly start. For the weeds of discontent wrap themselves tightly around the heart and will only let go with some very forceful pulling from the Hand of God Himself, Who is our husbandman and tends to the garden of our hearts. (John 15:1)
Not only does the Lord have to pull, He has to cut the thick branches and brambles, all while being careful that He does not damage the arteries and muscles of the heart. Then he has to cauterize (burn) the wound so that it would not become infected.
As you can well imagine, this was not a pleasant process. Quite the contrary, it was very difficult for me to lay on God’s altar and allow Him to hurt me in order to heal me and make me whole. I am glad to say that I have not had to go through this process for a long time now, because I had been walking in the Spirit, warring with the devil, and praising God for the victories He had given me in my life. However, for some reason, this latest trial of mine began to seem interminable and the sufffering that I endured got more and more painful and I made the same mistake that Peter made when he asked Jesus to come out upon the water to meet Him. I took my eyes off of Jesus and began to focus on the boistrous winds (the pain, the longevity of the trial, the losses that I had suffered and things that I was presently having to do without) and of course, I began to sink. I began to sink into discouragement and anger (oh, how I was angry!). And instead of doing what Peter did and calling upon Jesus so that He could reach down and pull me up, I choked on anger and despair and stayed out of His Presence for two long days.
Oh, I know that satan was laughing at me as I lay in my bed in the dark in tears. But I did do one smart thing. I opened up my bible to the Psalms where it says that the Lord upholdeth all that fall and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. (Ps.145:14) And on the following page, it said, “The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind; the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous:” (Ps.146:8). I knew that I was floundering, but I also knew that God loves me more than anything and that He is faithful. And His Word is true, whether I feel like it or not. So, I went to sleep and waited on the Lord.
I went to prayer this morning. Usually, I pray aloud for a while. But today, I kept my thoughts of my heart just between me and God. I poured out my heart to Him and He began to speak to my heart. He did not chastize me for my attitude, nor lecture me. He began to tell me that He loved me and that He was going to help me. After prayer, I went to my room and put on a praise CD and put my bible on my desk. When I started reading, my eye was caught by a word in my chain-reference section, so I looked it up. There was a Scripture there that wasn’t typed out. Only the address. So I went to the address. And this is what leaped off the page at me and melted my heart:
“I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.” (Ps.118:5)
I was flabbergasted. For in my distress, I HAD called upon the Lord. And He let me know that He not only heard, but answered me and set me in a large place. Not only that, but the entire 118th psalm ministered to me and it is as if those words were written just for me today, just for such a time as this.
I was delivered by the Word of God yet again. It is a sure anchor in a firm place.
I know that God is good. And I know that He is sovereign. But it always blows my mind when He does things to let you know that He is not only listening and loving you, but He is doing things to work out those things that hurt and bother you.
My God, He’s an Awesome God!
Blessed be the Name of the Lord.