The collage above is made from some pictures we took on our cross country trip last summer. Those images stay strong in my mind as I’m wrestling with some issues. I’m linking up with Crystal Stine for Behind the Scenes!
I was chatting with some friends recently about love and respect. Do they go hand and hand? Is one fully given and one fully earned? We work hard to figure out these truths and how they fit into our relationships. And where does trust interlock?
Oh, friends, I’ve felt the sting of betrayal. It squeezes your gut and penetrates deep into your soul. And if you let it, it will infect you with a bitterness so thick you won’t easily recover.
Can we love someone who has hurt us? Can we still respect them? Is it possible to trust again? I believe, depending on the circumstances, yes can be answered for all three questions. (Remember, I said, “depending on the circumstances.” I’m not advocating abusive situations.) It will take time and if the other person continues the same pattern of negative behavior then it surely won’t happen anytime soon, but it can happen. Anything is possible when love enters, especially the love of Christ.
I’ve been working on another writing project. Through pounding out words, doing research, and digging into the word of God, He speaks to me. I’ve also found myself lamenting. The Lord knows I have no problem venting my sorrows and making my petitions known. And there is certainly a time for this. However, as of late, these moments with God have taken an unexpected turn.
You see, sometimes, He sits silently and still as I cry out for answers. I’ve made sure He understands that I’m tired of digging through rubble to find treasure. I want to see the shimmering gold amongst the rocks. I envision reaching and grabbing it. The gold represents the answers. And if you haven’t noticed, I would love for them to be easy to find. In fact, I would love for them to find me!
And here is where the unexpected turn comes into play… I haven’t experienced Him sitting silently, allowing me to speak in frustration while asking Him, “Why can’t it be this way or that way.” I don’t believe my suggestions have amused Him. I get the strange sense He doesn’t find my tantrums cute.
The other day as I was voicing my feelings Job 38:4 came to mind.
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.”
All I could say was, “I get it. You are God and I am not.” Like job, I felt vile. I was working out my salvation and after that answer you better believe it was with fear and trembling. I was fearful, and I was undoubtedly trembling! What was I thinking?
So, with humility I tread before the throne of God with a repentant voice in a song of praise. He’s whispered to my heart that these are not my battles, they are His. I should know this by now. I do know this. It’s just that the human flesh tends to forget.
And then I remembered: I often feel this way when the Lord is working. He is moving mountains. I know it. Yet, it seems that whenever He moves them, I somehow end up with sore muscles and a bit of an aching spirit until it is all over.
I will be honest and tell you that when He finally moves that great, big, giant, mountain out of my way, I’m not sure where the path on the other side will lead, but I know that since He is taking me there, then it has to be a place ordained with freedom and hope. After all, where was I when He laid the foundations of the earth? And so I trust…
After my week, I want to convey the following to you: Go with God. Allow Him to speak to you; accept His discipline. It comes with love! And remember, He is working. I bet if you look closer at whatever tough circumstances you are facing, you can already see the mountain has moved just a little to the one side or may even be crumbling a bit. He’s making a way, so be diligent to stay on path! It most likely won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.
Hey, are you attending The Mercy Retreat?