And, so, we end our journey "When Life Hurts TOO Much." So many things ran through my mind as I read this chapter. I remember a summer two years ago when The Big Dog tore his achilles tendon. Although we saw God's hand in the process, that summer was one trial and challenge after another trial and challenge. Not only did he tear the tendon clean, there was a need for surgery, then he passed two large blood clots through his heart into his lungs and spent a few days in Intensive Care. Then there were all the resulting doctor's visits and surgery follow-ups. They found sleep apnea while in Intensive Care, so there were sleep-studies and doctor's visits from that. The Big Dog tore his right achilles this time (he had torn the left one a few years prior) so I had to drive all of us everywhere. The church we had been attending for two years was ignoring us. There was not offer of support. But family and friends were very supportive and faithful. And during all that there were multiple large car-repair bills that just happened during this time of trial. Oh, and then during our annual chimney/fireplace inspection we were told that there were cracks in our chimney and we need thousands of dollars of repairs. Oh yeah, and our dog tried to bite the chimney guy... At one point, I remember sitting on my kitchen floor alone, in tears, looking to God. And I told Him He was mean.
I wasn't walking away. I wasn't losing faith. I knew He was there. I just wanted Him to bail me out. I just wanted Him to make the trials stop. I loved our reading today, but one sentence out of them all spoke to me so sharply:
But if we only follow Him because of what He does, there will come a time when we feel like He doesn't.Ouch. That was me two summers ago. And it WAS a cross-roads. I had to examine why I was serving God. Why do I love Jesus? And it all boils down to the cross. I serve and love God because He gave up His Son for me. I love Jesus because He went to the cross for me. Willingly. He knew what He was doing. But He did it anyway. And I'm not worth it. I'm not. I'm a repeat sinner. I am sometimes a hopeless case. But His salvation gives me Hope.
Two years after our summer of great trial, I see God's finger-prints ALL over that summer. I was closer to Him that ever. He performed miracles all summer long. The big one was saving The Big Dog's life when those very large clots passed THROUGH his heart. Had they lingered, I would be a widow. Then, after spending half a week in Intensive Care, The Big Dog quit chewing tobacco/snuff for good. He had chewed since age 16. He hasn't chewed in three years. At the end of that summer of trial, I was offered a job with a Christian Homeschooling company where I could work from home doing something I love with lovely people. The extra money helped us to make up the expenses we had incurred over the summer. And I see God more in our lives going forward from that time. I drew closer to Him over that summer. The trials made me cling to Him more. It was a blessing. It is a blessing.
And so, how have your trials blessed you? Maybe you're going through one right now. Can you see a blessing in it right now? Sometimes that's really hard. So let's start with prayer. We've done this before. You tell me how to pray and I'll pray. Let's start with that blessing. I will promise to pray.
During today's chapter, the author says,
But the question that always stops me is this: if I turn away from Jesus, where will I go?That was another sentence/question that made me stop dead in my tracks as I was reading. Once you truly, truly, know Jesus as your savior and feel God's presence in your life, how could you walk away? Where would you go? It seems to me that everything else would fall short.
We are walking together. So let's walk together today. Talk to me.