These past weeks have stretched and tested my faith beyond measure. In a way I wish it hadn't. I find myself on a yo-yo string. I find my faith pulled in every which direction. My heart has been on a constant up and down.
We sing songs about praising God through ALL things. Rejoicing in good and bad.
Through tears, through laughter.
I won't lie...praising and rejoicing have been hard right now. When the rough moments hit...how does one TRULY rejoice through the struggle? How does one continue to come humbly before God with a grateful heart?
When all a person wants to do is fall apart.
And why is it just SO easy to fall for the whispers of lies from the enemy? Why is it so easy to focus on the negative of "what if". Instead of choosing to believe that God may have a positive through the storm.
I know why.
For me, it is because when your past is jadded with loss and sorrow, when you feel prayers have gone unanswered so many times, when you have lost 4 children, one of which you have buried after so many stood firm that he would survive and be ok...it's hard not to feel jadded. Guarded. To have a lock on the heart of hope.
Yet, there is a fight within to remain faithful even through the tests and trials through life. To remember that God does not want pain or sorrow, but even when those moments come...He will never leave us.
We may never understand the "why" of disappointment and loss. Not on this earth.
And it's not as though it just disappears and all is better.
Not at all.
But if I am so eager to praise and thank God when times are good...then I must be equally eager to praise and thank God through the storms. No matter HOW much I don't want to. No matter how much I want to just recoil and pull away. No matter how hard it is to fight for what is right...leaning on God.
We all know it. We are not promised an easy life. We are not promised a pain-free life. We are not promised that we will get every prayer answered the way we want.
But I've really been learning something.
This world is not our end. It REALLY is NOT our end. We don't lose!
With God in our lives, through His salvation...we will never lose.
It doesn't mean we won't hurt. It doesn't mean we will go unmarked from loss and pain.
But our pain lasts only this lifetime. Our pain is for this moment.
And even in pain...we find joy. True joy. Laughter. Love.
Our pain does not have to define us. Our scars do not have to mean we have been beaten down and are defeated. No, they show that we fought, we hurt...but we have risen.
We relearn life. We re-prioritize. We remember what truly matters.
When we choose to fight for life. And not be taken down by defeat and disappointment.
The enemy will always use disappointment and pain and suffering to try to weaken us and make us doubt and question and shut ourselves off from our God. And it is like any other relationship where we have to fight to overcome those valleys.
My worries are not yet over. But every day I remind myself that God is walking right beside me. And if I fall from weariness or stumble through tears...He is there to guide and catch me. He will not leave me alone.
I hold to faith. I hold to hope. I hold to the goodness of God.
Though in honesty it may be while I'm holding on to the very end of a silk string...but I'm holding on.
And through uncertain times...I will come to Him humbly, making my requests and pleas known to Him. I will come to Him with a thankful heart. I will come to Him in obedience, and because without Him...I just can't make it through.
I continue to pray His blessing and favour on me.
But through not only the good times, but also the rough times...I will remember that He is my Father who loves, not hurts me. That He will never abandon me. That His love will remain true. And His hand will always be on me.
No matter how hard I have to bring myself to remember these things...I will not let the enemy win.