Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Take Your Medicine

Every circumstance in your life is for your healing and growth, under God’s sovereignty.

I realize that statement could cause some rolled eyes and exasperation. I would not consider myself qualified to make it if my life did not verify it. But as a cult survivor, a divorcee, a single mom, and a woman who doesn’t get enough chocolate, I assure you it’s true.

This is not a gripe session. I dislike whining, and I steer clear of what I call “sob story contests.” I love this quote by Elizabeth Prentiss: “People make too much parade of their troubles. We are all born to tribulation and to innumerable joys. There’s no sense in being too depressed or too elated by either.”

Anyway, the other morning I was trying to get myself into “servant mode.” I gradually realized that my expectations of myself were a bit ridiculous. No one can be all and do all for everyone; but sometimes we moms try. Sadly, the message out there reinforces our efforts. We may even sense that people expect the world of us.

God is not like that. Our circumstances are not the assignment of a harsh taskmaster who will condemn us if we don’t get through them “right.” Far from it. He has designed our situation for us. He’s all about our growth and healing. His motive is always love.

God’s sovereignty is a peculiar thing. We’ve all seen terrible things happen to the best of people. God does not always prevent this. Instead, He transforms the arrows of affliction in midflight. When they hit us we suffer – and emerge to discover our healing and freedom.

Let’s face it – we live in a broken world. This process happens to most people more than once. Peter advises us, “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin…” (1 Peter 4:1) We are warned many times in Scripture to expect suffering. It’s part of the program.

We’ve all read the bumper sticker: “Pain is inevitable. Growth is optional.” To receive God’s healing, to mature in our faith, we will want to stay with Him through the trials. Pilots, when flying through a storm, may see only clouds. They must rely completely on their instruments. If you’re flying through a storm, keep following the instruments. Go through your trial with Jesus. Read your Bible, pray, and attend church. Follow the Bible’s instructions – don’t believe the lie that sin will bring relief. That “answer” only compounds the problems.

It’s all about surrender, brokenness, the end-of-the-rope admission that we need the Saviour. At that point, it’s out of our hands, which is where God can do His deepest work.

If life seems overwhelming, God’s looking for surrender. We learn to lean on Jesus. "Save me O God, for the waters have threatened my life." (Psalm 69:1)

If life seems unfair, God invites us to a decision to love. This produces maturity and eliminates the petty covetousness that can sour our days.

If life seems uncertain, God’s looking for trust. “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” (Psalm 50:15)

If life seems too hard, God calls us to intimacy with Himself. Richard Wurmbrand was a Romanian pastor who spent 14 years imprisoned and tortured by communists. He wrote, “I did not mind communism; I did not even notice it. I was in the embraces of the heavenly Bridegroom.”

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28.



4 comments:

  1. Your post reminded of an observation I made...when I had to get after one of my kids when they were little, it was always me that they came back to for comfort. Even though I was the one that punished them, they knew I loved them and that I was the source of their comfort...a Mom's hug can go a long way.

    The same is with our Heavenly Father and Savior...as Peter said, 'Where would we go? For thou hast the words of eternal life.' They are the only ones that can give us what we need!

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  2. I love this post. I'm a firm believer that our experiences are all a part of God's master plan to refine and mold us into better people. Through pain, comes beauty. When we're broken, we seek God's nourishment. I'm reminded of Psalm 91...He who dwells in the shelter of the most High will rest in the shadow of the Almightly. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.

    Remembering those words always brings me comfort and peace when life gets difficult.

    Thanks for this post. :)

    Many Blessings,
    Rosann
    http://www.christiansupermom.com/

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  3. Thanks for your comments! I agree, Becky Jane; it's very reassuring to know God's love as our Father.
    Rosann, I love Psalm 91. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. This is so true especially in these tough times. We all try to find answers yet they are right there in the scriptures. Love visiting your blog.
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Barbara
    Español para Niños (Spanish for Kids)

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