Some seasons in life can be long, dark, and cold. People you love dying. No one there for you when you need them most. Difficult relationships. Tough, hard work with few results. Health issues. Those seasons stretch our endurance. We wonder when God will come and rescue us, or if He will at all. Have you been there?
As hard as those times are, they become a turning point in our relationship with God when we, like Job, move from complaining to surrender, and find our delight in the Lord. Job 42:1-5, Psalm 37.
When I was hit with an incurable disease that promised to leave me blind, bedridden, insane and in excruciating pain for the rest of my life, I cried out to God, “I never imagined my life would turn out this way!”
His still small voice undid me. “Whose life?”
Trembling in fear of the Lord, I bowed. “Yours, Lord. I gave it to You.”
I wouldn’t wish that disease on anyone, but through it He brought me into such deep, intimate places with Him that I will never be the same again. In the next few months, He lovingly stripped me to the point of handing Him every moment, every thought, every agenda, every dream, my children, my marriage, my work, everything, until all that was left for me was Him. The more I surrendered, the closer He came, the more powerful His touch, the louder His voice, and the greater my joy.
And then He healed me. He didn’t have to. I’d already learned the secret of enjoying Him no matter what the circumstances. Philippians 4:11-13. But through years of deaths in the family, betrayals, difficulties in work, and more health issues, that empty-handed surrender enabled me to grab hold of God in ways I could not have otherwise. 2 Corinthians 4:7-18.
Our Creator didn’t place us on this earth to live in comfort and ease all our days, but to know Him. To love Him and enjoy His love. To worship Him, and to bring Him glory. Isaiah 43, 48:10-11.
No one gets all he wants in life unless his desire is for God. Then He will surely satisfy him with Himself. Psalm 84:3-7.
What are you holding onto? Let it go today. Psalm 16.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
“Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way (good) will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up His words in your heart. If you … assign your nuggets to the dust, your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines, then the Almighty will be your gold, the choicest silver for you. Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty and will lift up your face to God. You will pray to Him, and He will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows. What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways. When people are brought low and you say, ‘Lift them up!’ then He will save the downcast … through the cleanness of your hands.” Job 22:21-30 (NIV)