“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;” Job 13:15,
I sometimes become a victim to my emotions....yep I do...it is true. Often my circumstances stir up my emotions and I respond inappropriately....hey...let's just say I blow it! While my emotions toward my situation are not entirely wrong; they are just not entirely reliable. But you know...I know that my God is.
Adversity, trials, and sufferings are God’s greatest tools for growing us spiritually. However, our emotions sometimes tell us otherwise, making it hard to trust God for a good outcome. I think the reason it may be hard to rely on God in hardships is because I sometimes forget who my God is. I become so focused on what my eyes can see instead of the unseen hand of God at work in my life that I miss the boat entirely. My mom used to tell me it was God building character in me...and after struggling for so long....I would wonder....what kind of character God was wanting me to be.
A prime example of this happened a couple of weeks ago. My parents live with us....so alone time for my husband and I is at a premium....if it even exists. Well....I had been praying for some alone time with my husband....and I got it....just not quite like I had envisioned it. I was thinking romantic....not stuck in a hospital room with my sweetie...strapped up with I.V's and monitors. Two weeks ago, my husband, Frank, came home from work complaining of chest pains. I normally would have blown this off....but Frank has a high pain tolerance....if he said his chest was hurting....he was probably having a massive coronary. This was something to worry about.....and I worry with the best of them. This time I was consumed with all the “what if” questions. What if it’s really a heart attack? What if he dies and I am widowed and alone? What if this trial is a test of faith? Like Job, will I be able to say, “Though you slay me, I will trust you?” I hoped so.
God only eliminates the things in my life that don’t “look” like Him. If there is a characteristic in my life that needs to be put to death, I can trust God will do it and I’ll be better off without it. While my mind may acknowledge this truth, my emotions need God’s grace in order to trust Him in the process.God’s grace is always sufficient. He is enough for whatever I face.
God’s faithfulness has been evident in my past and it helps me trust Him in the present. Like David, Habakkuk and many others, I stir my faith in God by remembering those past victories. David was able to face and slay the giant because he remembered God’s faithfulness in his past battles. Habakkuk, as he prayed about his situation, remembered God’s history with the Israelite children and how He brought them triumph. Remembering the past victories reminds me of just how big and able our God is, and rescues me from any doubt in the present situation. It offers strength, hope, and the faith I need to endure.
It is human nature to fear. But as a child of God, I have got to remember exactly how the righteous live. They live by faith. So I’m learning to say in my circumstances, “God, this is not what I want. It’s not what I planned for my life, but though you slay me I’m choosing to trust you.”
After all the testing....the pain that Frank was suffering....could not be diagnosed as a heart attack. He would live to be my husband for many more years with some behavior modification activities....ie...quit smoking and start exercising. The gray spot on the xray and from the stress test were not visible in the heart cath. The doctors were relieved....as was I. Then, I realized that God not only eliminated the condition Frank was suffering from..... He also eliminated another layer of doubt in my life. In the hollow of that place, a deeper faith in God took root.Instead of trusting my feelings, I’m choosing to trust my God. He is enough both now and always for whatever comes my way. While my emotions are still going to trip me up from time to time, still, I will trust Him. Why—because if something needs slaying in my life, I’m better off without it and God is just the one to make the change a success.
I may not always understand what’s going on in my life. This may not be what I planned, but I will choose to trust God...I am going to rely on the fact that He will help me to see the good in every one of my situations, and He will also bring our the good from within me. I can count on that!
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
11 months ago