“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people both now and forever.”
Suffering is a real part of the Christian experience
It was more than 30 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. Tozer said something about God not using a “man” until he has suffered greatly. I think of Jesus learning obedience through what He had suffered. So, it should not have taken me surprise…
The day my dreams died, I was in California with my family for further training before we were formally commissioned for the mission field.
My husband and I had an argument.
The kids and I had gone to bed. My husband stayed up watching TV. I had a nightmare. It seemed very real. So real, I decided to ask my husband about it. What followed was actually more than an argument…I had hoped he would tell me it was a silly dream. He did NOT. Rather, he explained in detail, and I left the mission apartment in tears. It was dark and I was alone. I cried and cried. And walked and walked. And prayed and prayed.
Here’s how I remember what happened next
As I walked outside alone, reciting over and over again, Psalm 125:1, I looked at the massive mountains of California,
My conversation with God went something like this: “Lord, I can’t survive! I guess I always kinda KNEW, but why NOW? Why is this happening NOW? The confession was forced out of him, but why is all this happening NOW?”
Those STRONG. STEADY FOREVER MOUNTAINS almost mocked the sham of our marriage. I experienced the weight of what felt like the hypocrisy of our mission “call”. Would I ever recover? How can this be happening?
I asked: NOW, what, God? Now what?
My answer: “Those who trust in the LORD are like mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people both now and forevermore.”
– Psalm 125:1, 2
“Father, I am shaken to the core! BE my strong unshakeable foundation. I KNEW and yet I did NOT know all these years. What a fool I’ve been! NOW what? My kids are sleeping, unaware their hearts are about to be broken…”
God reminded me: The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil. LORD, do good to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart. But those who turn to crooked ways the LORD will banish with the evildoers…”
– Psalm 125:3-5
That day was ONE of the most devastating days of my life. And yet, it was actually a good thing in that it was the true beginning of my growing up in my faith walk. I began to trust God in a much deeper level. Yes, we got counseling. Yes, we went on to the mission field, and Yes, God continued to teach all 4 of us lessons we never signed up for. It was a wonderful time in the sense of learning to trust God on a deeper level; but sadly there were too many obstacles; and trust was never restored. The inevitable happened.
There were some difficult days before and after that day.
But, the purpose of this post is NOT to make you sad. But to share a bit of one person’s story.
And to remind you that we ALL have tough assignments in this EARTHBOUND life. But it doesn’t have to be the end. It can actually be a beginning of something new and glorious in your walk with the Lord. And like the potter, with the clay, the sunshine can bake you hard and rigid, if you do not allow the LORD to mold you and form you into a yielded vessel, fit for the MASTER’S use.
Life is hard, but God is good. ALL the time. Even in the midst of horrible news about marriage, health, finances or whatever.
“Lord, keep me from a complaining spirit.” Is part of my morning prayer time each day. Often, I have to remind myself during the day again! 😉
Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!
Until next time…
My Father: Experiencing God's Love A-Z
Pamela Taylor invites you to join her in this interactive acrostic devotional journal designed to draw you into the extremely personal and abundant love God has waiting for you. Experience the "Just ask..." of His love for you!
Awaiting His shout,
Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor