October 31, 2011

Waiting for a ram


You cannot just worship God when you are on the mountaintop.  Our true test of faith and trust comes from our experiences in the darkness of the valley.  Are we able to lift our hands and praise Him when things are not happening the way in which we would choose? 

Those moments in the valley come when we are not expecting them.  Life seems to be happening the way we want and suddenly, the floor falls out from under us.  We begin to ask where has God gone.  It suddenly seems as if we have been left to our own devices.  For me, I now recognize these moments as what I like to call, Spiritual intervention. God is placing us in time out. 

When life is good, we can become quite busy.  We become wrapped up in our families, church activities, and all the other events that life throws our way.  We still take time to attend church and read our bibles but because life is going so well, we often forget just Whom it is that is blessing us.  So that moment arrives when He must gain our attention and then we find ourselves in another valley.

God wants us totally and completely for Himself.  It is why we were created.  We are here only for His glory and no one else’s.  Quite a tough pill to swallow when you are a wife or mother.
I have to be confident that God knows what He is doing and only has my good in mind. His Word says “For I know the plans that I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)  I find great comfort in those words as I enter into a valley because I know that there is a reason and it is for my good. 

Now this was not always the case.  As I entered my first dark valley, I was scared, lost, confused and felt alone.  I truly believed that God had deserted me.  I wanted to give up and walk away but He began to work in my heart.

It began with returning to the story of Abraham.  For years, the story of Abraham and the command to sacrifice Isaac had been very meaningful to me.  It reminded me of God’s faithfulness and provision but it was not until I experienced my first big valley that I fully understood the greatness of this entire story.
Throughout the story of Abraham, there are moments where God gives commands, makes promises and follows through but that moment comes when Isaac is on the altar that would make me wonder, “Could my faith ever be that strong?” It was not until I took in the entire story from beginning to end that I was able to get through my valley and understand that yes, my faith could and would be that strong.

Life and praising God are easy when things are good and we are on the top of that mountain.  We find it easy to share His goodness with everyone but then suddenly that moment of testing arrives.  It is easy to trust Him when things are going our way but when the tables turn, where do we find ourselves. The game changes and we begin doubting God. Untrue thoughts enter our minds and we believe that He has forgotten about us.

Back to Abraham.  God gives him a son and then asks him to sacrifice his son.  Why?  I am sure Abraham did not understand God’s request.  Possibly, he thought, “Why would You promise me a son, give him to me and then take him away?”  but God had an answer.  God knew there would be a ram in those bushes and Abraham had seen with his eyes and heard with his ears enough to trust Him. He trusted God and knew that His plan was perfect and there was no reason to doubt what God was doing.

Imagine if you will the confusion that would be felt if God asked you to sacrifice your child. Who would you trust enough to confide in to tell?  Would you feel alone?  Where would you gather the strength and courage to follow through with the plan? Abraham was able because he had seen God move.  God had made promises and had followed through. He knew God was faithful. Abraham had no need to doubt Him now.
That is where I stand today.  God has a plan.  His plan is perfect.  There is a reason for everything.  Just like Abraham, I am a part of this story.  Just like Abraham, I  now wait for my ram because God has kept His promises this far and HE IS FAITHFUL!!!

Though my story may not play out as I would have written it or as anyone else for that matter would have written it, it will end the way in which God ordained it.  My children, one day, will look back on their mother's life and know that she walked by faith and trusted God above all else.  They will know that when nothing made sense in life, she knew God was in control and there was no need to fear.  I WILL leave my children a legacy that they will be proud to share with their children some day. I will walk away with my integrity and a life that glorified God.

You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Deuteronomy 30:20

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