Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When trials come…It is Well with My Soul

Anxiety weighs down the heart,
    but a kind word cheers it up. Prov. 12:25 (NIV) 
~ Thank you my dear friend, J, for your encouraging words and affirmations!

I am so thankful for my friend who checks in on me from time to time. And shame on me for not checking in with her more often! And this time she reaches out finds me at a time of turmoil. 

As we are preparing to get away with the family for a week, I am juggling tying up loose ends at work, family needs, and to-do lists to mark off, and teenagers and emotions, irrational appeals and moodiness, and praying for all these in our care. Praying for patience for myself and His grace to flow through us to them. When we are feeling ourselves become weaker, isn’t that when it comes? Like the lion who preys upon the weak to devour. And for me it comes in the form of personal attacks against my character. Against my own Christianity. When I feel like I am being portrayed as some awful, evil person and then I slip into the trap of believing it and start questioning who I am, my faith, my past sins and forgiveness and just what kind of Christian do I think am?

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)

I am reminded of who I am in Christ. I am forgiven. I have been redeemed by my heavenly father. I have been transformed and have chosen to live my life for Him. Every day, I endeavor to filter my decisions through His Word. And I remember that my life is in His hands. Even this situation. I give it over to Him and release it and trust Him to take care of it.

But it still gets me down sometimes. It’s like being on a rollercoaster. I feel down, then I take a deep breath, look up to the heavens and release it back to God. Trust in Him. Hours pass and I feel anxiety creeping back in. Or catch myself wallowing in self-pity again. Breathe a prayer. Release. Trust. Repeat, repeat, repeat. 

My friend in Christ, in whom His Word dwells richly, writes words of encouragement to me. Words that resonate with my spirit. 

The first thing that hits me is it's an attack of the enemy and I'm sure when you're feeling 'up' you see this too. I'm basing this on common sense and hopefully a little wisdom. “ Wisdom

Because she’s been there before too. 

“There have been at least a couple situations … where we learned that it was God/Holy Spirit leading the situation and guiding the circumstances … for one reason or another. We just didn't see it cause we try to find human ways of giving reason instead of just simply not having peace and being led by the HS (Holy Spirit).”

I prayed thatGod would convict me about this decision, if I am just being stubborn.  Hours later after pouring through Proverbs, my gut-check still tells me the same thing. God gave parents the natural inclination to protect our young. Keep seeking. Trust God. Use common sense and wisdom. Do not dwell on the words of those who speak ill of you. Rest in the peace of the Holy Spirit’s leading.

Giving thanks through all of this. Because through this, I am brought back to the One on whom I depend. It is through all this ugly mess that I recognize my daily hourly moment-by-moment need for Him. And His grace is sufficient each and every time. 

And these words keep singing in my head…the words written by a man who lost his son at the age of 4, was ruined financially after being a successful lawyer, lost four daughters on a ship that sunk (his wife was spared), and later lost another son. As he traveled to meet his grief-stricken wife, he wrote these words as his ship passed near where his daughters died:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

let this blest assurance control,
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and hath shed his own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!

My sin, not in part but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,

the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
even so, it is well with my soul. 

Grace and Peace to you,

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