Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Breaking from the Lord

I have found it odd (due to my faithless analytical mind) that it is during this trial of suffering that I have found a deep contentment and peace with the Lord. I have a deeper sense of joy and a greater faith in the unseen than I have ever had in my entire believing life. Yet at the same time I still experience the heartache, the situational anger, the emotional ups and downs, and the bewilderment of the unknown as much as anyone who experiences the loss. How could this be? I recently came across a quote by Oswald Chambers:

"We all know people who have been made much meaner and more irritable and more intolerable to live with by suffering: it is not right to say that all suffering perfects. It only perfects one type of person ...... the one who accepts the call of God in Christ Jesus."

I have sensed God's sanctifying work in this trial from the beginning. I know what His ultimate purpose is for me in this trial – to mold me. Perhaps it is this knowledge given through Christ which has helped me to keep my eyes focused on Him through the fire. I am humbled by this grace.

For sure, through this trial and others I have experienced, I have come into full frontal assault with who I am. I meet myself square on. It is true that, "Adversity introduces a man to himself." For it is I who fights with I in a battle of the surrender of control, a thing of which I have never possessed but in my flesh imagined that I maintained.

"One man's experience drives him to curse God, while another man's identical experience drives him to bless God."

Could it be that it is in this battle over surrender which will determine how we will react to suffering? To curse or to bless? To which I ask, which brings more joy? More peace? More faith?

I suppose to answer my reflection above about how I find it so odd to find such contentment and peace in this trial, I would turn to this quote:

"Blessings alone do not open our eyes. Indeed, blessings by themselves tend to close our eyes. We do not come to know Him in the blessing, but in the breaking." -Chip Brogden

And it is true that in the times I have felt the most blessed are the times when I have appreciated Him the least in comparison to this trial when I have been on my knees in the desert digging for a drop of water and upon discovering it, I have appreciated Him the most. O, in the words of Paul, "what a wretched man I am" that God would have to bring such brokeness to create a pure and passionate heart bent on Him alone.

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart;
I have overcome the world." John 16:33 ESV

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