Thursday, April 21, 2011
Four videos, testimonies of people who were walking closely with the Lord when unexpected and undeserved tragedy struck, are the centerpiece. There are beautiful songs that form a framework around the faces of those who have walked through the fire and come out with their faith still intact.
I'm reposting something I wrote a while ago when I was struggling with some of these same questions:
Far too often I find my mind is a battle field - faith and doubt warring in my heart. One of my memory verses is Psalm 32:7:
"For You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory."
I sometimes say it as I walk, trying to keep the verses I've memorized alive in my little brain. It brings me comfort...until that dart from the enemy finds its mark and I begin the inevitable round of questions.
"If that is true Father, why is there so much suffering? Why do those who love You so dearly and serve You so well have such trouble come into their lives? Why do little children suffer pain and sorrow? Why do evil people do such terrible things?......"
I fight back with the truth I know - that He loves us and will do nothing to harm us. Sometimes the questions persist.
I read something today in my little devotional, "Joy and Strength" that answered the question in a way that could only be the gentle voice of the Spirit:
"Just as soon as we turn toward Him with loving confidence, and say, 'Thy will be done,' whatever chills or cripples or enslaves our spirits, clogs their powers, or hinders their development, melts away in the sunshine of His sympathy. He does not free us from the pain, but from its power to dull the sensibilities; not from poverty and care, but from their tendency to narrow and harden; not from calumny, but from the maddening poison in its sting, not from disappointment, but from the hopelessness and bitterness of thought which it so often engenders. We attain unto this perfect liberty when we rise superior to untoward circumstances, triumph over the pain and weakness of disease, over unjust criticism, the wreck of earthly hopes, over promptings to envy , every sordid and selfish desire, every unhallowed longing, every doubt of God's wisdom and love and kindly care, when we rise into an atmosphere of undaunted moral courage, of restful content, of child-like trust, of holy, all-conquering calm."
William W. Kinsley (b.1837)
In my humanity, I want to think that nothing bad will happen to His children, or if it does, He will miraculously intervene. In truth, He will. It just may not look the way I want it to look.
Where I pray for healing or deliverance from trouble, He may have something else in mind. It doesn't mean He has withheld His love or turned His back. It means He is doing something I cannot see - something of eternal value. He has promised that He would. He asks me to trust Him.
There is the crux of the matter - trust. I have been dragged kicking and screaming into trust. I have wanted my way because I couldn't imagine the circumstances we were walking through could possibly be good or right. He has patiently waited for me to look into His face, listen to His heart, and surrender to a love that knows no bounds.
He is not obligated to answer my questions. His wisdom is so far above mine and His power limitless. He is perfect and holy. He has never failed to keep His word and has loved me unconditionally. Who am I, this broken, unworthy vessel, to question Him? Yet He tenderly draws me to Himself and listens. Often He answers; sometimes He doesn't. Always He is all that He has promised to be. If I will simply trust Him, that is more than enough.
linking to Emily's Imperfect Prose