[original blog post by Jody at nitty gritty. print in red is my thoughts, otherwise, Jody has written my heart. our family is currently making it's way through some "fire" and I don't usually bear my emotions, frankly because I'm the type of person that isn't gifted with the ability to do so, but as some might say, I "feel the Spirit moving me" to write my heart. my appreciation goes to Jody for getting me started.]
Faith is hard!
I have people say to me from time to time, "I wish I had a faith like yours". I hesitate to tell them the truth, and that is that faith comes through trials and adversity, more often than not. This is so true. My own faith has grown more in times when my world is falling apart than it ever has when things are going well and life is rosy. The times when I've had no strength to stand on my own, I've had to turn to someone. He has been there without fail, every single time. And my faith has increased.
When I've needed Him most; when there have been no answers; when tears and anger and sorrow consumed me, my faith has been enlarged and peace has flooded my soul. [my heart whispers "yesss."]
Even though I have had to cling to my faith, it still is a hard thing for me to accept that sorrow and suffering are ways that God chooses to reveal Himself to us at times. I wish there were 'easier ways'. I wish that we could call on Him and He would snap His fingers or whisper a healing word and all would be right again.
But that's not the way God works. Although He can and He does sometimes. I believe God works in this quiet way more than we realize and that it is one of His.loving.ways to prepare us for the tougher times; making us willing to trust Him and enlarge our faith. More often than not though, His ways are not the way we would choose or expect them to go. He has a plan and He has given us His Promise that He will make all things new. He is preparing a Heaven for us that will be a place without mourning, sorrow or pain. Free from all of Satan's ways and devices like selfishness, hate, greed, you know, sin. He holds us in His hands right now, and simply asks us to trust His ways.
I will be the first to admit that there's no better place to be than resting in His hands- trusting fully in His promises- but it's still hard. It's very, very hard. [yes, resting in His hands]
My heart has been full this week for some friends who will be having a funeral for their baby tomorrow. My heart has been heavy as we pray for a relative and wait for the results of brain surgery- he's young, newly married and has a baby on the way. My heart aches at the losses of jobs and homes and families being pushed to the limits financially and emotionally as the economy continues to struggle and affect so many lives. My heart is full of wishing and wanting things to be different so many times.
But I trust.
I rest in His promises.
I hold fast to the reality that there is more to this life than that which we can see.
There is Hope, and not just hope for tomorrow.
But Hope eternal.
And that, my friends, makes faith worth the pain and struggle and gives cause to endure.
He is Faithful.
He is Love.
He is Hope.
My heart is thankful that He is more than enough. He is all I need.
Thank you, Jody, and all praise and glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gives us life so abundant and continues daily to flood our hearts with peace appropriate for the need; who empowers us to witness and encourage others with the love and grace He so freely gives. Who can argue with the changes He has made in our lives? No one. And all we need to do is share what Christ has done for us and the difference He makes in our lives, to impact the lives of others. Jody and Angie and MckMama are perfect examples. They've been through the fire and they cling to their faith and they share their lives so transparently with others. God bless them.
I know that God is moving heaven and earth to answer the prayers and pleas of our hearts. He has brought Don and I through the fire to be stronger and closer to Him. He will bring our children through their fire and rain; He will hold them, He will guide them, He will give them strength, peace and wisdom, He will protect them, He will provide for them, He will heal them, He calms all the fears of this mama and papa, He will be victorious! Praise His Holy Name.
[pause the playlist in the sidebar before watching this video]
With hands lifted in praise ....
God bless you.
We are so blessed.