Christian Living, Five Minute Friday, Testimony

Having Hope: A Season of Trial and Fleeting Peace

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5: 6-7

Humility comes when you need it most and it presses hard when you don’t seem to want to dig in. It hurts and molds in a time when you need grace and guidance. Humility points you in the direction you need to go regardless if you want to climb that steep mountain into the shining sun or fight against that dark valley that God needs you to walk through with Him. Humility hurts, humility refines, and humility loves you where you’re at because it’s from the Lord under His mighty arm.

Having a hard season that you thought you finally conquered seems enlightening, emboldening, and refreshing. The Lord gave you a little boost in morale and strength as you made it through fighting off the last bit of bitterness that was slightly self-induced and allowed to simmer in a vat of churchy self-righteousness of people stuck on a merry-go-round of gossipy behaviors.

One would think that the fresh air of spring, the blooming flowers of Easter, and the freshness of the Gospel preached each week would bring energy to a soul that was done frying in some church and outside ministry hurt would be energized and ready to go. I was. I am. We are out there serving, sharing, and doing all the things. We have it in our hearts and beings to serve the masses, see people come to Christ, step into uncomfortable places, and pray.

And then we reflect upon our home. We gather around and pray for each other, our family, our neighbors, our friends, and ourselves. The Lord sees our deep needs right now. We have a desperate longing for healing from years of military burdens, societal pressures, family misunderstandings, lack of friendships, misplaced emotions, and deep-rooted pains. Oh, boy, we are humble. I wish we would all embrace the fact that as a Christian family, we are truly being refined… all of these years and even more so right now.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:1-4

As we walk through this sanctification and we allow the Lord to prune the bad fruit, maybe we are feeling the pain of cutting all the dead branches off. It hurts to let go, and it is painful to see that some things are not meant to be part of our lives, and some people are not meant to be there any longer. We are growing, and they are not. We are abiding, and things as well as people are holding back, not being part of the Lord’s plan for us. God’s Word gives a new perspective every day no matter how many times you read it. Love how He does that.

My time here ends with these final thoughts. I have been reading through old hymns and thinking about how we do have a friend in Jesus and how He is with us day by day. He is with us in the sunshine and in the valleys. He is with us in death and in life. The Lord is with me in my tears. I thought I came out of this little valley that I was in only to hit some giant sinkhole that must have a bottom somewhere that will eventually push me back up to the light. I do know that I will not drown even if I think I am because the Lord is there with me.

As I read through these hymns, I was encouraged to read Psalm 61:

from the end of the earth I call to you
    when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
    that is higher than I  vs. 2

He is the rock, always. He is higher than ANYTHING, the petty stuff, the hard stuff, the stuff really worth crying over, the stuff worth fighting for, and the things we hide from as well as the things we would rather sleep through. He is there in the laughter and the joy, as well as what feels like death and despair. The Lord is Creator, Healer, Redeemer, and Savior. I am His. He is Mine. Forever. Amen. Maranatha, Lord.

More from this short series found at this link.

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