Have you ever noticed when you are going through an issue that God wants you to learn from it? During that time, many things regarding that matter will come to your attention - sometimes in gentle nudges and sometimes like a bucket of cold water poured over your head. It might be a friend, who has no idea of the problem you face, making a comment relating to what you are walking through; you might read a Scripture or article that speaks to you about your issue or maybe even see a movie that in some way addresses your situation.
If you read my blog from yesterday, you know that I went through what I called a "crisis of faith" a few weeks ago. If you did not get a chance to read it, please go back and do so as it will help you to understand this blog. Hopefully.
Since that crisis has passed, I have read some comments that have spoken to me. I believe there are those of you who also need to hear this, so please read on. Just because our situations may be different, the fear, doubt and lack of faith are the same.
I'm currently reading Desperate Hope: When Faith in God Overcame My Despair by Candi Pearson-Shelton. Here are a number of quotes that I want you to read and allow God to speak to you through these words:
"No, this [your issues] has nothing to do with how strong you are, but everything to do with knowing how strong He is." (emphasis mine)
The end of our hope can be bitter and bruising, and it certainly gives cause for a crisis of faith...You may well be questioning who it is you've been believing this whole time. You may be ready to give it up and move on. I believed God, but I wanted to hope in my human capabilities. I wanted to keep my hope alive in my own plans...but when rubber meets road, we are merely humans with eyes that see in part, not really able to absorb the picture in its entirety. That requires hope in Someone else completely.
"Some may trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will trust
in the name of the Lord our God." (Ps. 20:7)
Coming to the end of my hope brought me to the beginning of complete hope in Him, no fragments left behind here or there in other ill-chosen places. I found that God sometimes drives us to places that force the end of hope in ourselves so that we place absolute hope in Him. In order for Him to trust us with great things, we have to eventually come to this realization. We need to ultimately trust in the Lord our God. At the end of the day,the trust He places in us is based on the same thing that drives our trust in Him: Himself! I see that it isn't so much about Him trusting me after all. That has something to do with it for sure. But it has more to do with the fact that He trusts Himself in me. I want to always be found in a place of submission to His power at work in me so that He can place His trust in me, even when it hurts, to carry out His glorious work." 1
From a sermon presented by Matt Cuthbertson, at the 2004 Convocation of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church, Laudate Service on June 29:
"When you're really moving in faith, you're moving without an escape plan. Faith doesn't have an escape plan, a back door or a Plan B. You can't say, 'God, I'm going to believe for this, and if it doesn't happen, I'll do this." So many times, we build escape plans in our lives in case God doesn't deliver - because we've been hurt in the past. People have let us down or we've let ourselves down. Someone asked me, 'But what do I do when it doesn't happen?' I said that this is how I'm going to live: wholeheartedly in faith, without an escape plan. If things don't go my way, or if I didn't hear correctly, and things fall apart, I'm going to embrace the pain and look at my life as part of the big picture.
The only thing that will last is the love God has toward us. When you believe for something, hold on to the love that God has shown. If you get crushed, don't stop living. Don't put up walls or veils over your heart. You have to keep living with a whole heart, no matter what happens to you, no matter what pain you endure. You must embrace it and see it as part of a larger picture, like Paul did. He called his afflictions - which seem pretty heavy to me - light afflictions, because he saw a bigger weight of glory, a destiny for his life." (2)
Sometimes God can give me a gentle nudge (or two) and I get it. But sometimes it's more like a bucket of cold water poured over my head to wake me up. Every day this week has been a bucket-of-cold-water day!
(1) Pearson-Shelton, Candi. Desperate Hope: When Faith in God Overcame My Despair. Pages 49, 52-53. David C. Cook Publishing, Colorado Springs, CO.
(2) Cuthbertson, Matt. International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church Convocation. Laudate Service. June 24, 2004.
(c) 2010 Edwina E. Cowgill