Psalm 139: 23-24
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
One moment I am running freely basking in God’s love and the next I am knee deep in mud with obstacles surrounding every path. Downtrodden and weak. How can this be? I pick up my cross daily and connect with the Lord as much as my day will allow. This was suppose to be a joyous experience, full of unexplained peace.
Life happens to move in such a way that comfort follows disruption in a majestic dance without a lead.
The barriers that enter my life are not ones I want to entertain. Most of them are unresolved feelings that have been so nicely contained and covered by forced appeasement. They lie and wait, unexpectedly raw when they are provoked.
1 James 2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Find joy in the trial? When a hurtful event occurs and it seems to have no justification, how can we find joy?
My first gut reaction in these situations, flight. I curl into myself and replay the experience like a silent movie. Analyzing every move of each of the actors in the scene. What did I do to provoke the reaction? How could I have handled myself to avoid this type of situation in the future?
This behavior begins to settle in and my fear of people begins to take shape followed by the untamed emotions of hurt and embarrassment. How do I find acceptance and appreciation in the people around me?
Where is the joy?
Matthew 10: 13-14 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.
Finding the joy and peace comes when we recognize how our trials lead to testimonies. When the trial shows up at our doorstep uninvited, we are to leave it and shake it off. Turn our back and follow Jesus. Listen for His righteousness and grace to soothe the pain. Then, allow His words to fill our hearts so that we can begin to identify weaknesses in our faith.
My weakness; an insatiable need for acceptance. I have seen this undo many relationships, entice isolation, and secure a lock to the openness I need to have with my Lord and Savior.
The testimony is created when others see how we handle ourselves and don’t allow it to demean our faith.
Lean. Pray. Listen. Wait.
They will see our Lord. They will see grace. They will see His mighty hand protect us and allow us to walk through the fire. We just need to be still and know.
Exodus 14: 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.