Enter Through Tribulation
Updated: Apr 29
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. Job 1:21
Writing has been a way that I can see through the static of illness. It's been a gift to help me abide in God's peace, through the racket of noise that pain produces in the mind, body and soul.
God "comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 2 Cor. 1:4
I'm not cute when I'm bed-bound. But, the hardest times always precede the most treasured poems or revelations of Jesus. Every immobilizing anguish reveals itself, eventually, to be a kiss from Abba. The longest nights collect the most dew, as we wait on him. The fact that God sustains our faith through dark and fiery trials isn't merit. It's the miracle of Jesus. The resilience of his resurrection. Grace.
If we keep our hands open before the living Word of God, Jesus Christ, what flows in just flows out. I don't think a person can truly receive from God and not pour it back out, because the enormity of what we receive with Christ is more than enough to sustain us, this day and through eternity. We can't possibly hold it all in our little hands. We pour ourselves out as offerings, to make room for more.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
Every trial is an invitation to glory with Christ. The entrance to the kingdom of heaven is through adversity and poverty (Acts 14). Knowing God changes us, like the sinful woman of Luke 7, who poured out her life savings in her small bottle of perfume upon Jesus, while weeping. Any notion of self-preservation, by material or by fear of scoffing eyes, evaporates when we lay ahold of him.
"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11
God shows us so many facets of his staggering love -- even in our grief, sorrow, fear, and sin. We can weep in agony, while the blood of Jesus shatters every natural bent towards self-pity. His table is richly laid for us. A lavish banquet, where he's invited us to recline and drink deeply.
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8