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Month: April 2016

Can I Be A Hero Too?

Can I Be A Hero Too?

Has there ever been anyone in your life whom you have looked up to?  Most everyone has “heroes” they admire and dream of becoming like!  What about spiritually speaking, has there ever been someone you have admired from afar?  Their faith amazes you, their strength is beyond your comprehension, their dedication to Christ no matter what happens to them is never wavering!  When you grow up you want to be just like them!

There have been a few, what I like to refer to as heroes of the faith, that I have always looked up to.  I have read books about them and with each word I soaked up, my heart said more and more “Yes! This is what I want to be like!”Corrie Ten Boom2

Corrie Ten Boom is one of those heroes.  Have you ever had the privilege of sitting down and reading some of what she has written?  Oh friend, if your answer is no you must change that!  A true treasure, a hero of the faith, wisdom so eloquently given from her lips when spoke!  I want to have faith like she did!

Let’s notjimelliot forget about Jim Elliot and his wife!  Willing to risk life and limb simply to share the Gospel with a people whom they did not even know!  People they continually loved and reached out to just to be able to share the good news of salvation with!  Jim’s journal entries are quite moving and the books his wife have written are encouraging and challenging!  They had the kind of faith and passion for Christ that I deeply desire!

It is easy to sit in the comfort of my own home, sipping away at my morning coffee as I read autobiographies and dream of becoming like these three heroes, without even taking a moment to realize what exactly they had to go through in order to have that kind of faith.  

We often look at people like this and assume that God just handed them a double portion of faith instead of realizing that these people, and so many more, had their faith built on the back of trials God required them to go through.  Have you ever noticed that those whom we admire spiritually, all went through some pretty tough times?  Hardship, loss, pain  of all sorts, being without food, beatings, brought to the brink of their faith and then stretched some more, all of this and more are what these heroes of the faith have gone and are going through.

When it comes down to the nitty gritty of it all, the truth is we often want their faith without having to go through what they went through to get that faith

 

When God requires my husband and I to go through times of pain, loss, brokenness, betrayal, being stretched to our very limits and then stretched a little bit more, I am not a fan of that!  I do not like being taken outside of my comfort zone.  I do not enjoy being out in the desert so to speak and experience loss multiple times over.

Yet, it is often through these times when I have learned the most about God, His love, His mercy, His overwhelming grace, how He “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” {2 Corinthians 1:4}

When I have been taken to the brink of my faith and then stretched some more is when God has shown Himself to me in ways I would not ever know had I not been brought to this very place.

Think about this quote by A.W. Tozer for a minute, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” 

In the valley is when we learn this life is not all about us, but rather about Him!  The valley tends to humble us and bring us to our knees.  Maybe our valleys, our pain, our brokenness, is just what God is using to bring about our greatest blessings.  Anything that draws us closer to Christ is worth going through.  Those words are easy to type and read, but let that sink in for a moment.

What is God asking you and I to go through today?  Are we allowing it to draw us closer to Him?  Are we letting it stretch and grow our faith?

Corrie Ten Boom, Jim Elliot, and so many others, they were just ordinary people whom God used to do extraordinary things because they allowed Him to do anything that would draw them closer to Himself!  Friends, that can be us too!

I know trials hurt, I know the pain may seem endless and wearisome, but keep the faith!  Let’s find our comfort in Christ!  Let’s let these valleys be what Christ uses to build our faith and refine us to reflect more of Him to others.  One day it will be worth it all!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

PS: If this post has encouraged you, please feel free to pass it along to others

 

When God Does Exactly What We Have Asked….and It Hurts

When God Does Exactly What We Have Asked….and It Hurts

As I was busy around the house one day I had some music playing in the background on our computer.  Songs that I love which are also upbeat and a great motivation to keep me busy with the tasks at hand.  Songs about God being good, words requesting God to deepen my faith in Him, praise to God, and even words asking God to break me to draw me closer to Him.

I scrubbed the kitchen counter top, literally scrubbing because dried cereal from earlier that morning required a bit of elbow grease!  As my hand moved back and forth over the stubborn spot I caught myself mid-song, really thinking about what exactly I was saying.

Words I enjoyed singing when life was going well, but at the moment it felt as if I could physically feel my heart breaking.  As the music played I had to stop singing, what I was saying to God through song is exactly what He was doing at the moment and it hurt!  Did I really mean what I was saying to Him?

I had found my heart battling at times against anger, frustration, and if I’m going to be entirely honest, I felt a bit betrayed by my Savior.  Though I know I never have been betrayed by Him, it was how I felt at the time.  Is it okay for me to even admit that out loud?  Have you ever been there?  Living your life for the Lord to the best of your ability, striving to point others to Him, sharing His love with others, and suddenly you are the one so deeply wounded.

What happens when we are sitting in a heap on the floor, God has moved, He is cleansing us, drawing us closer to Himself, but we don’t understand, there is no light shed just yet, and we are completely broken.  Those words we sang and meant with everything in us, but now He is moving and the hurt stings just a bit deeper than we expected.

Our tears are innumerable, our hearts feel to be in a thousand tiny pieces and there are simply no words to form on our lips in prayer.  The hurt runs too deeply.

What then?

Do we still  sing about God’s goodness?

Do we still remain faithful to Him, even though He is the One allowing our hurt to take place?

When He is silent and all we long for is even just the tiniest word from Him, do we trust He is still there?

Oh friend, I have been there.

When the hurt has run so deep and I have had no words to pray, I cling to Romans 8:26 which tells me that when I don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit is making intercession for me. {Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.}  

Our enemy would love to see us wag our fingers at God, turn our backs to Him, and pout.  Drawing us further and further away from God.  Truthfully, that only deepens our pain because we run from the very One who knows just how to comfort us in our time of need!  We carry the hurt and pain alone instead of letting Christ shoulder the weight with us.

Recently my husband heard a new song and when he arrived home from work he shared it with me.  I leaned against the kitchen counter, which was now thoroughly cleaned, and listened to the words.  The one phrase throughout the song that caught my heart was this, “The Lord will never waste our pain“.

It isn’t wasted.  He brings beauty from our ashes!  Listen to Isaiah 61:3, “to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

We see life through such temporal lenses, but we must remember, the pain will not last forever.  He will redeem our brokenness and replace our tears with joy.  {Psalm 30:5, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”}

He will cleanse us, He will draw us closer to His side, yes, He will at times even break us to do so, but while He is at work, we must not turn from Him.  We must run to Him, hide in the shelter of His arms.  Let the tears fall on His shoulders and let Him build our faith as He carries us through even our most heartbreaking of circumstances.   We sing God is good when our life is coming up a bed of roses, but it is also possible to sing God is good when there are no roses, only pricks from the thorns.  Remember, He is good and nothing about our circumstances changes His goodness.  Ever.

Wherever you find yourself today, my hearts prayer is that you are finding yourself in the shelter of God’s arms.  Listen to this song and let it be a balm to your soul as you go through that seemingly impossible difficulty.  He will see you through and if we stay close to Him, we will see especially when we look back, that He was good even through our darkest of night.

 

Many blessings,

Wendy

 

Ps: If this post has been an encouragement please feel free to share it with others.