ON WAITING AND TRUSTING IN GOD.
A stinging sharp pain in my lower abdomen startled me out of my sleep. It was a feeling I had gotten accustomed to. An uneasy gut feeling that heralded an impending wrong. Mustering all my strength, I got out of our bed, so afraid of what I would have to face once more.
I knew it, I felt it. Our bed told our common story. We had lost yet another pregnancy.
Staring blankly at myself at our bathroom mirror, warm tears streamed down to my cheeks.
I couldn’t help but feel a heavy load crashing down on me. It was our second miscarriage. Devastation was an understatement to say the least. “Lord, why?”
Deep down, I was sure that something more was being born out of us, but the circumstances proved otherwise. The more I pondered on our murk, the more I felt God’s hand in all of it.
It was not just another miscarriage.
We were in His wine press. We were in His crushing bow. We were in the Potter’s wheel.
A pruning phase, a waiting phase, the Lord was making new wine out of us and we had no choice but to submit to His will.
My husband had a way of beautifully grasping His ways way ahead of me. As hard pressed as he felt, he had surrendered to His hands. His heart was always mellow wherever we had our family altar, one that was always submitted to His will.
I, on the other hand, was still in the tug of war with the Lord. I guess I was the stubborn grape – whichever way the Lord saw my heart, He knew that there were idols to be pulled down – mine, was the idol of control.
The Bible says that disobedience is like the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness so much like idolatry – 1st Samuel 16:22. What’s your idol?
BUT WHY LORD?
We all suffer. The magnitudes may vary but we all do. We ask ‘why’. Why we go through hard situations. Why Christ is always silent as we walk through the fire and in the dark valleys of the shadow of death. Why God never moves when we need Him to. Why He never steps down to save the day.
All in all, as long as we live in this fallen world, born with the sin of the first man, suffering will be part and parcel of our lives.
Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
Christ, though He was the divine God as man, felt the anguish of suffering and of pain on earth. Drops of blood fell from his brow as he called unto his Father to remove the cup of pain from Him. He was not only physically afflicted, but was also emotionally scathed too.
But even as Christ understands our pain, He knows the victories that lie ahead of every misery. He knows the exaltation that comes with pain, for He has promised the crown of life to everyone who endures trials till the end. – Revelation 2:10
Psalm 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
This chapter always reminds me of the beautiful and profound truths that are found in God’s word. This truth however, of expectantly waiting on Potter’s fettling knife to fettle me, is something that I need a repetitive dose on. How can affliction be good for me?
You see, God, in His sovereignty still allows us to go through pain, not because he hates us, or cannot shield us, but to grow us. At least that is the lesson we picked. Even a seed has to die for it to germinate. John 12:24.
Keeping a seed locked up in a drawer, or on top of a shelf as a mere decoration, is denying its full potential through growth.
Can you possibly imagine how dark it is beneath the soil? How uncertain it is for that seed when a farmer closes it up in a hole, alone? How unsure it is of imminent floods? Or if the farmer will be careful enough to tend to it till harvest?
A NEW REVELATION, MAKES A NEW HEART.
We might never comprehend the grandeur of God when all seems not to be working, we might be tempted to be side-tracked by “temporal highs”,and sell our birth-right for what we see. But even in the most trying times, He is working ON A GLORIOUS END. We must trust that something is being transformed from the inside out, in the invisible realities that are not tangible enough.
We might never understand how “all works out for our good” when a child gets sick, when going through a retrenchment, when going through a betrayal, when the car is auctioned or when the house burns down.
We might never place God anywhere close to us when a marriage breaks, a business deal flops, when school fees has run out, when a parent dies, when a child dies, when conception never happens, when going through a miscarriage, when your child is born with special needs, when all seems to be enveloped in a mass of failures, we might never understand.
In all that mess, God doesn’t ask us to understand, He asks us to TRUST.
Trusting in the unseen is hard…
A seed goes through radical transformations beneath the soil only for us to see a little green seedling sprouting out of the hard soil, to face the joys of the sunshine again. Even as it grows, it needs occasional pruning, so as to have strong branches and yield fruits.
Will the seedling refuse the farmer’s husbandry simply because pruning is one of those uneasy moments?
Such truths are parallel to us. The ‘why answer’ is found not in the quest of finding an anodyne to our incessant pain, for we never will, but in knowing God’s full intention of our suffering has an end of exaltation, only if we yield to Him.
Christ, like a criminal was crucified between two thieves. The cross was deemed as a place of suffering. No one hang on the cross without a label. None of the ones watching from below, knew the outcome of the cross for the three men.
It seemed like they were all being punished, but Christ was being exalted.
In their suffering, Christ was glorified – [the cross became a place of rest not of suffering], the other thief repented – [as he grasped the intention behind his suffering], and the other remained obstinate – [his stubbornness, even at the epicenter of the pain, made him miss a personal encounter with the Messiah!]
Shouldn’t this be a frightening conclusion to us? That in the end, we are still the decisive elements. Would you yield or remain stubborn? Would you allow God to use you? Through which your mess will become a message of hope?
Suffering in Christ, has a way of pruning us for later glory. We are human and our infallibility draw us much more to comfort than the cross. It is only out of a changed heart that we can accept to carry our crosses and follow Christ, and even in that, we still complain. “Lord, this is too heavy!”
Taking glory in our suffering is hard, but therein lies our breakthrough.
He crushes and binds.
He knows that you will be hard pressed on every side, but not crushed.
He knows that you will have moments that are perplexing, but never will you be driven to despair.
He knows that many will persecute you, but He will never abandon you.
He knows that you will be struck down, but never will he let you be destroyed.
To bring out a new wine out of you, He must crush you, keep you covered in a cold and dark refinery as you ferment, churn and turn out to be some sweet wine.
But even in the dark places, His voice still gives us comfort, His staff leads – Psalm 23 – if only we are sensitive enough to de-clutter our hearts off the stubbornness and doubt that the enemy quaintly plants in us.
The longer the wait, the sweeter, the more expensive and rarer the wine is.
Such a masterpiece can be showcased as Christ’s making, for all to see, for all to taste how good and precious the Lord’s doings are.
Your miracle is ahead. The Lord doesn’t need your help. He already has it all figured out.
You think you are at bare minimum? He can work with that.
The red sea that threatens your passage, the wilderness that scorches you dry, the oasis with the bitter waters at Mara, the little jar of oil, the handful of flour, the five loaves and two fish, the wine that run out, the blind Bartimaeus, the woman with the issue of blood, the DEAD Lazarus! He works with no-things!
For out of the void, the called out the creation.
He makes great things out of NO – thing(s)!
Two consecutive miscarriages followed, but I was more confident in my Vine-dresser, looking forward to our vat of victory. Contented that even if we bore not a child, He was still teaching us a priceless lesson. A lesson on trusting His process.
Motherhood requires an ultimate surrender of your child to God. He knows their needs better than we ever possibly could. Trusting God on behalf of your child shields your heart off the anxieties of the world.
Are you hard-pressed? TRUST! Trust His process