Thursday, December 20, 2012

Part 1: Struggles

This past year and a half has been an incredibly hard, yet beautiful process that God has been taking me through.  I cannot believe it has been over a year of this pruning, this deep and intense gardening in my heart.  I am ready for it to be over, but I know it is all for a God designed purpose.  I wish I could explain that incredible change, but my words just cannot do it.

It has been a pretty depressing week and my soul and body is very tired of the financial struggles we have endured of the past four years.  I wish I could go into deeper detail, but I would rather talk about that later.  Anyways, we went to NY for Thanksgiving and ever since I have been home I have felt a literal weight and stress on my body that I cannot seem to get rid of. I did not realize how stressed I was until I was taken out of the stressful environment and brought back into it.  

After asking God if He was still present during this past week, I felt like I was suppose to start reading Job, specifically in the message version.  I wanted to share the parts that really spoke to me.  Interestingly, this was all found in the Introduction to Job and not into the chapters.

"...Job suffered in the same ways that we suffer- in the vital areas of family, personal health, and material things. "

After I felt the holy spirit say to read Job, I felt like I already knew his story and I can't relate to the intensity of this story so, Lord I don't want to read it.... its depressing! 

"It is not suffering as such that troubles us.  It is the undeserved suffering.  One of the surprises as we get older, however, is that we come to se that there is no real correlation between the amount of wrong we commit and the amount of pain we suffer.  We do right then get knocked down. We do the best we are capable of doing, and just as we are reaching out to receive our reward we are hit from the blind side and sent reeling.  This  is the suffering that first bewilders and then outrages us.  This is the kind of suffering that bewildered and outraged Job..."

Over the past few months I have honestly felt like I am being punished.  Now, I obviously know that is not true, but I often wonder why we have the struggles we have when so many around us live in new homes, have ample food, newer cars, etc.  A couple months ago during my bible study group,  I had the ladies pray over me and a couple words were spoken over me.  Here is what God spoke to these ladies: 

God will complete what He has begun.  

I don't want you hurt but made whole. 

I am committed to the process with you.  

Put your hope in my and you will not be disappointed.  

Your need for provision is a set up for God's glory. 

"Job gives voice to sufferings so well, so accurately and honestly, that anyone who has ever suffered- which includes every last one of us- can recognize his or her personal pain in the voice of Job...he makes poetry out of what in many of us is only a tangle of confused whimpers."

"Perhaps the greatest mystery in suffering is how it can bring a person into the presence of God in a state of worship, full of wonder, love, and praise....So instead of continuing to focus on preventing suffering, perhaps we should being entering the suffering, participating insofar as we are able- entering the mystery and looking around for God.  And so Job's experience is confirmed and repeated once again in our suffering and our vulnerable humanity."  

Job 36 "  It's true that God is all-powerful, but he doesn't bully innocent people...He never takes His eyes off the righteous; He honors them lavishly, promotes them endlessly.  When things go badly, when affliction and suffering descend  God tells them where they've gone wrong, shows they how their pride has caused trouble... but those who learn from their suffering, God delivers from their suffering.  "