What occurs in our hearts when we reach places in our lives that we aren't equipped to understand or know how to fix? What keeps us going? What inner strength and hope takes over? Against all odds....
I have found myself in my own perplexing circumstances in which the odds reflect one word: RUN but the voice that stabilizes me: HIS VOICE assures me it is under control and beyond my expectations of power and hope. In those moments where the challenge of maintaining order amidst the chaos seems a daunting task, God stands tall and mighty.
Next week is a big week for us. It will either give way to our singing praise to Him with ease or it will cause us to force a song when the gross distortions of the truth become an added paradigm to our existence for awhile longer.
I began this post on May 31 but I didn't publish it...nor did I finish it. Our appearance in court was June 9. We took our children and sat before an arbitrary process that was so foreign to our reality, yet with out the ability of our voice to be heard. We were there physically, perhaps even symbolically, as our presence hopefully gave each "player" in this game a deeper sense of conviction to realize that this is a family that is already being "tried" in life...without choice or escape. If those in their seat of power really desire to make decisions that are lawful, then they would go beyond the circumstantial evidence to the details of truth from those who we sought help from, who did offer advice and counsel, and even directed the processes that we are under scrutiny for.
Unfortunately, nothing was resolved that day. "More time" was needed. Needed for what was my initial thought? For prolonging our anticipation of freedom from half-truths and distortions that do not reflect the reality? And then I remembered what I know to be true: when every lesson learned from a process is painful and has achieved its goal, it will be resolved. When the ultimate goal of further deepening our faith is fortified and established, that chapter will be closed so that our next level of living can be established.
I read this fragmented post this morning and realized that I am grateful for a God that can be depended on when others fail us. When circumstances stretch our reality and offer nothing in return that brings peace, the only hope that can be found is in a God that has challenged us with circumstances that will exceed our comprehension and prove to be purposeful beyond our imagination.
Adversity is meant for maturing our faith. It enables God to reveal Himself in ways that prove not just His existence, but also His love for those that trust Him. It brings our purpose to light in a way nothing else can. We have each been called by Him, but not each one of us answers His call. I remember my initial thought when faced with the reality of gaining 2 more children at an already difficult time in my life. What went through my head was a repeated phrase: "I do not need swallowed by the 'whale' (as Jonah was due to his running from God's call upon his life), this is big enough."
And now, almost 7 years later, and under an even greater challenge than that, I find myself thinking of Jacob when God said "you will not be called Jacob any longer. From now on your name will be Israel" (and God renamed him in Genesis 35:10. This past decade of our life has "renamed" us. It has taken so much from us, but it has given us so much more. The space we are in, as we hang in the balance between the call and the promise is one of uncertainty in our circumstances, but more importantly, one of His calling, which purposes it all.
I know we will look back on this chapter of our lives and realize how necessary it has been. The teaching is unlike any we could ever receive any other way. The emotional pain, while it seems unfair, is a reminder of the suffering that Jesus endured and He was without sin! There is no comparison but there is an analogy to be drawn. When we understand, like Jacob, in order to answer the call, we must leave our comfort zone and be "called out" of any and all complacency to become a useful tool for God, we do not walk by sight, but by faith. We maintain a posture of trust that doesn't always have words to define.
While we desire an end to the hardships of the process, we witness first hand the ability of God to provide for His children. There is a supernatural component that edifies the challenges within the struggle. And as we wish it away, we realize that it is priceless in its role.
And so we move forward and we know that "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."
2 Corinthians 8-9