Friday, August 29, 2008

and that my soul knows very well

Imagine your life as a fortress. All the things and people that are important to you are the pillars and walls protecting and surrounding the center, which is your heart, the essence of you.

One day, BAM! Something starts crumbling. It might start slow with a rumble, and a pebble falls, or it might be sudden, like everything is fine and then a missile has just struck one of the towers.

It’s devastating.

There are no words that could effectively describe this type of shock to someone who has never experienced it before. You can’t eat; you can barely sleep, and for me, everything in my mouth tastes faintly metallic. Everywhere you go you are reminded of the devastation, of your loss. You feel scared and alone.

You feel like you are starting your life over and don’t know where to begin.

“It’s a bitter end
When the sweet begins
Grace is sufficiency.”

I think that the most work that God has done in my life was when I felt like I had nothing left. Looking back, I realize that this excruciatingly painful process is what God has used to remove the dross from my life. God burns away the dross and instead replaces it with His faithfulness; His grace. Only in times of trial have I truly begun to understand the meaning of these words, faithfulness and grace. The bible says that God’s grace is sufficient to meet all of our needs. This means that no matter the trial or tribulation, God will never give us more than what, with His power, we can bear. This concept is one that has only recently been proven true in my life.

When my heart was broken, I felt like the seemingly senseless act was, emotionally, more than I could bear. I couldn’t imagine being able to tackle this hurdle of pain. Looking back, I realized that it was God’s grace that brought me through that trial and gave me ample time before the next trial that came my way. I didn’t know at the time that in a way I was being prepared for the next trial, which would be largest trial I had ever experienced.

It truly is a beautiful thing when you can look back and see the steps that have brought you to this point and see that it truly has been the Lord’s hand that has been guiding every moment, especially when you understand that in that level of devastation, you were unable to do anything on your own.

It’s only in the truly difficult trials can you be led to complete dependence on our Lord. It’s through these things that He refines our character. It’s amazing that we serve a God who can take this world’s deepest pain and use it to His glory!

When the walls of my fortress crumbled it was like the walls of Jericho falling. Each pillar fell and crumbled except for one, the one that rested on trust and dependence on the Lord. When I think back to that story, it seems inexplicable that any one portion of the walls of Jericho would stand, and it serves as a parallel to our lives. I think that it’s inexplicable that through these trials that I would be able to stand. I can wholeheartedly attribute my survival to the Lord.

“When mountains fall, I'll stand
By the power of Your hand
And in Your heart of heart I'll dwell
And that my soul knows very well”

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