1 Peter 2:9
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare
the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
It’s been a long time since I posted on this blog. Since my last post, my life has gone through a series of difficult situations and changes that left me drained of the energy it takes to write. For a while all that I’ve been able to do is to hold on to my Abba, my Father, and wait for the thunder and lightning around me to fade away. But I finally feel like I am able to breathe again…finally feel like I’m capable of thinking of something besides my own pain and frustration and confusion.
This first post back, though, I wanted to share my own testimony. I think sometimes in crafting a testimony we tend to tell the story of what has happened to us before – what happened to us years ago, or that one time a few months back when God spoke to us. But I want to share from my current situation, and to try to give voice to my praises for God, who has been my shield, my strength and all my hope during this time.
Our nature, as human beings, leaves us vulnerable to many things. When struggles and changes come, we suffer and we mourn and we weep. We find ourselves feeling helpless, without strength, and often it seems like we are alone. We look around, and it seems like we can’t see anything but darkness all around us. We feel as if we’re standing in the desert with the blazing sun shining down and no water to quench our painful thirst.
There is a difference, however, in dealing with these situations as a child of God, and dealing with them as someone who does not have that relationship. As children of God, we can hold onto the promise that God will be our light shining into the darkness around us. As children of God, we recognize that the desert is only as big as the range of our human vision; just outside the scope of our finite view are streams of living water…and if we squint hard enough, we might even see those streams beginning to pour in rivulets into our wasteland. As children of God, we know that when we have fallen, there is always a hand reaching down to grasp ours and pull us to our feet. And as children of God, we know that no matter how alone we feel, we can always run to our Father and find rest, security and safety in His loving arms.
For myself, the circumstances in which I’ve found myself over the last months have pushed me closer to God. I wasn’t surprised to feel that happening – difficulty seems to have that effect on nearly everyone, even non-believers. But what I hadn’t expected was that I would begin to experience relationship with God in His trinity…to feel the interweaving and interlocking relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in my life. Yet that’s exactly what I have begun to notice. I used to simply ask the Father to be with me, to watch over me and to guide me. But as I’ve prayed through these difficult times, I have found myself not only turning to my Father for strength, but also appreciating the intimacy of my relationship with Jesus, whose experiences here on earth as a human must have included grief and sadness and pain like mine. And I have sought the supernatural power and wisdom from the Holy Spirit to assist me in living out an effective Christian life even when my own strength was at its lowest point – when I didn’t have the ability to continue on my own.
I don’t know if this new perspective on who God is commonly comes to people who have dealt with sadness or pain; I can only speak for myself. But for me, as difficult as my situation has been, I am grateful that it’s driven me toward a better understanding of the depth of relationship that it’s possible to have with the Lord. I still don’t understand why everything has happened the way it has, and I’m still struggling sometimes with the complex emotions that come with changes and challenges, but even with all that I’m still thankful to God for allowing me to learn something so beautiful during my own journey through the shadows.
This is what the LORD says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.