Not My will, but Thine.
Sometimes the online world can be extremely misleading. Social media can often paint the picture that everybody has these perfect, beautiful lives and that every day is a breeze. I am not ashamed to tell you that, for me, life has been a struggle over the past few years. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that I suffered from as a teenager that I thought had gone forever. (I’ve since been told that I will have it for the rest of my life and although my symptoms can be managed, I may have further relapses.) I have watched many many friends get engaged, married and start to have children whilst getting to the age of 29 and still being single. The hardest test I had to face, however, was losing my father to cancer in February.
There have been times when my body has physically hurt from the pain, heartbreak, grief and sense of loss. I have been unsure of how to carry on with life, only being able to face one hour of a day at a time. So many tears have been shed that I’ve wondered how there can possibly be any more left in my body. At times, I have questioned God’s plan for me and have wondered how such a supposedly loving God could allow someone to hurt so much.
But in the very darkest times, at the times I have felt the most lost, unsure, heartbroken and beaten down, there has been a light shining over me. That light is God’s word. It’s taken me a long time to learn that when I’m hurting, distancing myself from God because I feel let down by Him is just about the worst thing I can do. So in recent months, I’ve been trying something new. I’ve rejoiced in His word and worshipped Him through getting creative in the margins of my Bible. And it has given me peace and comfort like nothing else. You see, the more you read of the Bible, the more you come to understand about the character of God and His great love for you.
And one particular lesson that God has been teaching me over the past few weeks is that His heart breaks when He sees His children in pain.. He feels anguish over your situation and longs to hold, comfort and restore you with His love. When you are crying with despair, He is weeping alongside you. Like it says in the hymn ‘I stand amazed in the presence’:
For me it was in the garden
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweat drops of blood for mine.
Just imagine that…the son of God being so overwhelmed with grief for your sake that he sweated blood before going to the cross for your salvation. Have you ever
known a love that rivals that? I certainly haven’t.
If you are suffering right now, I want you to know that love. I pray that you will feel enveloped in the arms of the One who created you and gave you life. I pray that,
through His word, you may come to understand that that in your suffering you become more like Christ because of how He suffered. And that all the while, He is
crying along with you, longing for you to lean on Him and His never-ending grace.
God be with you today.
In Christ’s love,
Shanna Noel, , Illustrated Faith, Shanna Noel, 2
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