One of the heaviest burdens we carry for ourselves and others are those that don’t seem to end. These days we all have some area that continues to challenge us. We pray for healing, release, whatever seems needed, in the hopes that God will rush in and save the day.
Sometimes things get better, then something happens to plunge us to the depths again. You cry out to God to bring resolution, healing, whatever, yet nothing seems to change. We struggle with our faith, with our perception of God in our lives and his plan, we struggle, struggle, struggle...
We even despair, wondering why God doesn’t seem to hear our prayers. These are the trials that take the most from us emotionally, spiritually, and even physically.
Coming to a place of trust and acceptance is a great challenge, and I think we have to do it over and over again. God has a reason for not just stepping in and making a situation better or removing it completely, but believing that and trusting that his reasons are good is not always easy. The truth that keeps me going is that God is good. He is not capable of bad motivations. That's the one thing He’s incapable of. So if that's true, and it is, then our ongoing trials have purpose and meaning too.
Recently, God showed me that sometimes parts of our lives have to be torn down in order to rebuild something much better. And often those parts He wants to remove aren’t healthy anyway. Yet we tend to cling to what we know, preferring the familiar over change or growing pains.
And it is painful and heartbreaking at times. I know my own stubborn nature wants to protest and keep the status quo rather than face this kind of pain—the kind that tells us it must get worse before it can get better.
Our spirits know it’s necessary. That’s the way God designed us, that if we’re to truly walk in his plan for our lives, we must allow Him to prune and refine us.
The thing is, we can know all this is true, but at the darkest moment of testing, we consider the cost. We stop and look, examine and estimate, decide and choose. Can we go on?
I confess one of these times hit me recently. Very unexpectedly, I might add. I think that was part of God purpose in allowing it, to show me I wasn’t as secure in my faith as I thought. For a nearly a day I labored over what God was calling me to do.
What I faced was appalling to me in that moment. Yet the more I examined the true depths of the issue, the more I realized the heart of the matter was internal. My heart needed some changes in order to go on. I met with God in his Word and prayer, and He began to heal what I could not and bring acceptance to what I had initially resisted.
In the end, I had a choice, and God left it to me to choose. I could choose living in all that God wants to accomplish in and through me, or I could walk away. Sometimes we just have to choose to do the hard stuff, and it sure helps knowing we’re choosing God in the same breath—to be obedient, to serve a higher calling than our own human nature. To know we’re not making the trip alone and on our own.
God asks a lot of us sometimes. More than we can imagine ever accomplishing or enduring. But whatever He asks, He will equip us to move forward. He doesn’t ask if we have the strength to do it, because He knows we don’t, not without Him. He asks us to trust Him more deeply than we have before and leave the rest to Him.
Again, not easy but very much worth the journey.
Praying and believing,