When Your World Caves In (Part 1)
Read Time ~4 Minutes
Have you ever been in a LONG-term trial? I mean a LOOOOOOOOONG-TERM trial.
For four-and-a-half years in my mid twenties, I had a completely life-halting auto-immune disease.
The pain was excruciating.
I became thin as a rail, skin and bone, able to eat almost nothing.
While doctors could describe WHAT was happening with my body, they could not explain WHY. (This is DISCOURAGING after four different doctors don’t know what to do).
My body shut down, I couldn’t go to work, couldn’t support our family. (My wife had to go to work while I stayed with our daughter).
In my case, I had no idea if I’d ever get better, and each year my energy, along with my hope, was decreasing further.
I found it easy to accuse the Lord. How could He let this happen to me?
What do we do when we find ourselves in a LONG-TERM trial, and it doesn’t look like it will be ending any time soon?
Perhaps it is a personal illness for you like it was for me.
Maybe it is a job you’re enduring.
It’s possible that you’re caring for an aging parent and coming to the bottom of your compassion bucket.
Maybe you’re enduring a marriage or single-hood that leaves you wondering how to go on.
Here is one of the principles I found to be true in that season:
HOW we go through the crucible determines how VALUABLE it is and how we COME OUT on the other side.
Today I am 100% better, physically and emotionally. But coming out BETTER is not a forgone conclusion. People go through things all of the time and come out more BITTER than better.
This Part 1 of a multi-post series of lessons I learned that kept me sane and progressing through that time:
1. Meditate on the Fact That God Has Purposes, Even In This Difficulty.
And He is probably NOT going to tell you what those purpose are right now.
Our daily decision to see each trial as a necessary component of our sanctification (our transformation into greater Christlikeness) can impart a supernatural OPTIMISM and PERSPECTIVE that we couldn’t know otherwise.
One of the most powerful days of my sickness was the day about three years in. That was the day I was finally able to look at my sunken body in the mirror and whisper, “I must really need this.” Or at least it was the first day I believed it.
But I DID believe it.
God’s MERCY that had sent the trial to create humility and dependence on Himself on the inside of me.
Part of developing a stronger faith muscle is consistently remembering that God didn’t slip up somewhere. God could have stopped this but He DIDN’T, and He wants to use it to shape us to better fulfill His purposes and be closer to Him.
And it CAN bring us closer to Him if we’ll allow our limitations to force us to lean more heavily on HIM.
“When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10, NASB95)
Say it: I SHALL come forth as gold!
2. Prayerfully Worship Jesus WITH the Suckiness.
Instead of just wishing and praying it were different, EMBRACE that it is NOT different.
Don’t just ask Him to take it from you. OFFER Him the pain, the severity, the yuckiness of it as the only thing that you have left to bring.
God You are worth THIS.
I have no strength.
No prospects apart from Your deliverance.
And I make these things my offering.
If You want me to go through the fire, I will go.
Worship Him with all of the pain you have.
Come down off the throne of self and set all of your aches and disappointments before Him.
Say with Job,
“Though He slay me, yet will I wait for and trust Him.” (Job 13:15, AMP)
and worship Him for His wisdom, timing, and love.
The truth is, you don’t have anything else to do with the pain anyway.
If you cling to it, it will make you bitter. Pour it out before Him.
Worship Him with the suckiness.
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Posted on April 17, 2019
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