Being Tuesday it's once again time to look at Lysa TerKeurst's book, "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith." Lelia at Write from the Heart is hosting the study, so stop by to see what everyone is saying. This week we are looking at chapters 14, "Pressing Through the Pain" and 15, "God isn't Surprised by Death."
Once again it is amazing to see how the chapters line up with the life I have been living!! The last 10 days have been a visit to the land of unknown as I had some medical tests done and simply had to wait. The pain I experienced wasn't physical, but instead emotional as I didn't know what was going on.
Even though I wondered and worried what was to come, with God's help I was able to press through. I appreciated the story Lysa shared about Ken, a friend who'd lost his wife, and his reminder to enjoy the moment because life is precious. What a great truth, one that I lose track of all too often. Especially when pain and unplanned experiences take place, I focus on the problem rather than the praise.
Which was exactly the case last week as I was overwhelmed with what was going on and constantly trying to figure it out. You know the game, if it's this, that means this, but if it's this, life will unfold like that... More than once my husband had to remind me it wasn't my place to figure things out and a friend simply said, "Trust God - He knows best!" Again great reminders because Satan can use pain and death to distract us and make us ineffective for what God has planned.
But, if we focus on God and the truths His word reveals, He has a reason for the hurts we don't often expect or even enjoy. That is to draw us closer to Himself and like Lysa said that will "never disappoint." It still hurts, but when the pain has a purpose He provides peace.
As we move to chapter 15, Lysa focuses on death and how God is NOT surprised. Actually it's been part of His plan since the beginning! So why is it so difficult for me (us) to embrace something He will work through? Because it's hard and it hurts and often times my focus is on the here and now, not the eternal picture that He can see.
My emotions have led me to ask the same question Lysa posed, "How God?" Sometimes I really don't know, but it's then I have to trust. Again a difficult concept at times. Last week that question came up as I started getting results from the tests and it seemed there was no way things God had put on my heart could take place after hearing the direction my life was heading.
I wouldn't consider my current situation a mess, but it's different than what I expected and thus Lysa's words, "stay in the hard place, fulfill the mission, let your dream die NOW, eventually life will spring from it" really hit home. Maybe this is all God's way of breaking me and showing me this will happen according to His plan, not mine. And when He puts these pieces together, His light will shine!!
So though the pain doesn't always make sense and death hurts, I know there is a reason. Obviously it is never mine, human nature never wants to experience pain or loss, but God knows best. These hard times change me, help me grow, cause me to mature and draw me closer to Him!! So as Mercy Me sings, "Jesus, bring the rain," so like Casting Crowns, I can "Praise You in the storm!"