“He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings, so the Lord alone led him.” Deuteronomy 32:10-39 (NKJV)
Not long ago, I walked through what I call a long “winter” season. For six years straight, family members and others we loved died from cancer, suicide and other tragedies. But we were not alone in our loss, for several close friends also lost loved ones and came to our home one by one to cry. Meanwhile, my best friends who had encouraged me and ministered together with me for many years moved away and changed. Some broke promises and fell into lies and attacks. Others fell to mental illness, sin, divorce. Some even left the faith.
Trials change us, whether for good or for bad.
I could share with you the other tragedies that occurred during those years, but I think you get the point. “Harsh” doesn’t even begin to describe that long winter.
Stripped bare of so many people close to me that I had leaned on and loved for so many years, I found myself in a lonely place a bit like a cold wasteland. But the Lord reminded me that He too was betrayed, He too lost those closest to Him, and He too knows what it’s like to suffer alone.
And yet, I wasn’t alone. For He was with me. He hand-fed me from His Word, and His voice and His touch warmed me to the core. He spoke truth into my pain and set me free from things I would never have known I was captive to without a barren wilderness to bring them out into the open.
I wouldn’t wish what we went through on anyone, but I can tell you without a doubt that the eternal rewards of drawing nearer to Christ and becoming one with Him have far outweighed the trials. 2 Corinthians 4:7-18.
If you’re going through a hard time now, know that you’re not alone. Not only are others around you also going through hard times, but the One Who carries you is with you.
Don’t waste this trial. If you rely on your own strength to make it through, the difficulties may indeed change you, but not for the good. Let the One who will never leave you or forsake you transform the hard things (including your heart) into beautiful things.
Then your winter will pass, and “spring” will surely come. Song of Songs 2:10-14.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. … Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:7, 6-17
Consider giving the gifts this Christmas that could make a difference in the lives of those you care about!
Check out Mikaela Vincent’s inspirational books and devotionals for children, youth and adults at www.morethanaconqueror.com and http://www.amazon.com/Mikaela-Vincent/e/B008MX2I48/