Tag Archives: devastation

Witness Protection Program

Close your eyes and think of the most unthinkable thing you’ve been through.  Remember it.  Feel it.  Got it?

Tell me why it happened.  Can you? You never saw it coming, right? Never in a million years would you have even conceived the thought that it may happen…but it did.

I know from experience God can use anything – ANYTHING for His good.  After all, if we’ve professed our loyalty to Him it’s ultimately His goodness and character that are at stake – not just our reputations, feelings or plans.  Ultimately it’s His love for His child that you and those around you will see.  It isn’t always pretty or comfortable and certainly it’s not what we expect as His beloved!  We expect wonderful, good things – we’ve somehow convinced ourselves bad things shouldn’t happen to us because we’re His!

What if we changed our focus to try to see through the pain in a godly perspective?  What if what we’ve been through or going through has very little to do with us?  What if God CHOSE you to suffer just so you can show the lost ones around you that no matter what He’s good? He’s faithful?  He won’t abandon us when we’ve messed up, fallen short or been devastated by events we had nothing to do with?  What if there’s someone in our lives who needs to see someone they love and admire handle things with faith in Him when everything else has been torn away?

We’re called to be witnesses – not just to the corners of the world but right in our neighborhoods!  That’s our Jerusalem; that’s as real as it gets.  When we dare to swallow our pride, to stop worrying how we’ll be thought of or talked about and live out our faith, God will bless us. He’s the ultimate witness protection program – you’re being used to show Him and share Him with someone else.  If He allowed it to happen, how can there not be good come from it?

Maybe we’ve been selected to suffer for His glory. If so, we can believe He will protect, comfort and heal us all the way through it.  Do we dare trust Him that much?

 

“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He.” Isaiah 43:10

The Place of In Between

Saturday.  Friday had happened and they saw the One whom they had based everything on, left their lives for believing He was Messiah…tortured, nails drive through His hands and feet, hung on a cross and take His last breath.  So many thoughts and doubts must have raced through their confused minds.  How could the Son of God – the Promise – die?  I feel sure they watched from afar as His lifeless body was taken down.

Do you know what hopeless feels like?  To have everything you believed in…believed for die right in front of you? I imagine what the disciples, Jesus’ mother and the other followers were feeling was the epitome of that word.  I wonder if they even remembered the many conversations He had with them, telling them that exactly what had happened would and that it wasn’t what it appeared to be or felt like it was. I imagine they were so grieved and perhaps scared that they had forgotten.

Can you relate?  You just experienced a devastating blow and after what you’ve been through you may feel it’s over, that there is no point in even hoping, let alone trying to go from here.  This is where everything changes and you’re not sure if you have the courage to believe, one more time, enough to go on.  That’s the place of in between where feelings and faith collide.  On one hand, you want to trust and believe enough to take the next step, but you feel like your world as you knew it has just ended and there is really no point.

That’s the place where dreams die and bitterness and depression creep in…if we let them.  If we’re not careful, we can find the courage to walk on from that place and allow our faith to die.  Don’t let that happen.

Hang on, just a bit longer.  Remember and recite every single promise God has made to YOU.  If He is allowing you to endure devastation, it’s part of a greater destiny.  Sure, it hurts, and absolutely, you’ll be changed forever because of it – perhaps that’s grief’s intent.  We can choose to go from here and be changed for the better or be infected by bitter.

In that place of in between, God is the same as He was yesterday.  Still in control, still loving and still all-knowing.  Just like the disciples on that dark Saturday, although they were devastated they made it through it.  You will too.  “Be not afraid, only believe”.  Mark 5:36

Barren No More

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It’s been a wet and dreary winter. Temperatures dropped well below freezing several times.  Looking at the landscape of my beautiful mountains at times all I saw was gray and dark.  Thank God winter is just a season.

This season has taken its toll. You’ve been through it.  You’ve lost what you didn’t think you would and hurt like you’ve never hurt.  Some things were ripped from your ever-trying-to-hold-on hands and some you let go of. You’re tired and beat up, perhaps feeling like you have nothing else to give.  Maybe you’re asking yourself why fight to survive anymore if after as hard as you’ve tried the result is the barrenness and nakedness you’re now feeling.

Coming out of an extremely hard season myself, I know what that feels like.  I also know that what I’ve lost pales in comparison to what I’ve gained.  For a while though, I felt like a dead person walking.  I couldn’t feel anything and didn’t care about anything…I just wanted it to stop.

Barren.  Stripped.  Gutted.  What do we do when we find ourselves in such a whipped condition?  This, in my mind, is one of the many “works” of salvation…the most important one and I’m finding it occurs often.  This is where we decide if we believe that God really (in every respect of the word) is who He says He is to us, personally.  If He is, then something good will come from the destruction; if He isn’t then it was all for nothing.

Dare we believe after all this?  Dare we find comfort deep within ourselves from a God who allowed such devastating things to happen?  What else can we do?  We can allow ourselves to be bitter, despondent and depressed or we can muster up the strength to take a step into our tomorrow.

I took this picture this morning.  This tree branch was ugly and naked just yesterday; now look at it.  Just because they have buds on them doesn’t guarantee they won’t get broken or a frost won’t come.  Just because we dare believe and walk in absolute faith doesn’t mean things won’t get testy from time to time.

We’re not barren just because we’ve been through something traumatic but it sure feels that way.  Maybe we just needed to get cleaned out and gain a new perspective on things, on what’s really important.  God doesn’t allow tests and trials to show HIM something – He allows them to show US something – what kind of faith we really have and who we really are.

What you need to survive is in Him and if He’s in you, then all you need to go on is, too.  Will you bloom today or will you wither?  The choice is always yours.