Wednesday, February 23, 2011

{a hopeful heart}

This world is full of pain, suffering, disappointment, rejection...

I recently read an article posted by my friend Julie about a man named Sayed who is being held in a Kabul prison right now simply because he's a Christian. He is set to be hanged soon.

While we certainly are not facing persecution or suffering anywhere near as severe as Sayed's, my fiance and I were talking recently about how trying of a year it's been so far for us and for people in our lives. Not many of you know, but towards the end of last year, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is certainly jarring to discover that the man whom you've viewed as invincible, a superhero of sorts, for your whole life is just as capable of being attacked by unforeseen forces as anyone else. In addition to that, we have many friends who are going through very difficult family situations right now--divorce, separation, issues with defiant children they care for, illness, major injury, and even multiple deaths of people very close to them. Even on top of that, January was a difficult month because of memories of friends who have passed around this time of year. And to add on a few more, Adrian's great-grandmother passed away recently and mine had to go in for surgery today. Needless to say, there were many reasons to feel hopeless, helpless, and defeated.

Satan's desire through all this is to see things falling apart. He delights in knowing that people are weak. But the crazy thing is, in a way, God does too. Despite all that's happened, I am constantly reminded of God's word, which speaks of His enduring love, his faithfulness, and his promises that all things work together in life for good, even if we can't see the big picture. He desires that we recognize our weakness and our inability to hold things together so that we can trust in Him wholeheartedly and, as the Bible says, know that salvation (and every blessing, for that matter) is a gift from Him, not earned by what we do so that none of us can boast about it. He wants us to be willing to accept our weakness so that we can in turn become stronger. While Satan wants to see brokenness and tears, all I have to show him is a heart that is hopeful and patient and persistent. I can honestly say that God has truly given me a heart of hope. I sincerely and wholeheartedly believe that He will prevail over everything that we face, and that some day, "The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord and his name the only name." {Zechariah 14:9}

To Sayed, I say "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes" because "as for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him." {Psalm 36:7 & Psalm 18:30}

To my friends and family who are struggling with fear, anger, or doubt, I encourage you to remember that "there is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord...victory rests with the Lord." {Proverbs 21:30} And when you begin to believe that there is no hope or you feel your heart sinking, I encourage you to look back on your Ebenezers and remember that Jesus said, "In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." {John 16:33}

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry you've had to deal with quite a bit more than your fair share of trial and pain. I'm very glad you're the strong woman you are who can see God through the shadows, and allow His light to continue shining. Love you dear.