Oh, and it is so difficult at these times to power through on a faith in our God. A faith that He is doing all things for good. A faith that there will be victory in this time of extreme defeat.
Its been a hard thought for me, for sure. During that rough pregnancy, the early birth and various sicknesses of our twin girls, and the continuing hardships I clung to an idea that faith would preserve me and prayer would protect me...but it didn't keep the things I feared away from me. I still gave birth early, lost a child, and had my world tossed and turned into complete insecurity.
Oh, it hurts that God did not stop it.
My perfect, holy, and loving God allowed it.
And then this morning I came across a story that put it all into new perspective for me. It was the story of Lazarus. (John 11) Jesus was told of Lazarus' sickness and chose not to go to him until Lazarus was already gone. But the death and subsequent resurrection of Lazarus was a powerful demonstration of God's power, glory, and love. Jesus, though it hurt him deeply to allow such pain for Lazarus and his sisters, knew what he was doing.
And in the end, he did all he promised to do. He saved Lazarus from death.
Then I realized that God's glory has been shown. Even in these times of hurt I have victory. And the funny thing is, to me the victory has been faith. Having survived things that could easily pull families and lives apart, we are stronger now than ever before. And then I saw it...
Faith preserved me.
Prayer protected me.
My heart was not hardened through the fire but has an even greater ability to love.
Isn't that a miracle?
My faith, though challenged dearly through this super-long and painful year that my sister accurately has dubbed "The Job Year", is just as strong and maybe even stronger.
But what brings tears to my eyes is the fact that I didn't do this. I know I didn't. There were hours of completely darkness, terrible days of weakness, anger, and despair. I did not keep myself from falling away from God.
God kept me close to him and didn't let me fall.
"For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock."