Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Goodness of the Lord

 

I must confess, there have been days when I feel like there's an ugly cry just beneath the surface of my "I'm fine" exterior. I could recite a whole list of others who have much greater reasons to cry than I do. I think of them, shaming my grief and tears deeper down below the surface and lock them deep in the basement of my heart. 

In my morning quiet time with the Lord I ask Him to search me, to reveal the truth about myself to me. He unlocks the basement doors of my inner being and makes me face the grief that has been packed into the past ten months-the pandemic, the shutdown, the isolation, the challenges of leading a church in these unprecedented times, the wildfires in my home state resulting in family and friends evacuated and in danger of losing everything, deep heart wounds that come along with being in pastoral ministry-wounds from people that we have loved and cared for, some choosing to walk away from our church and also from what I thought was true friendship. I know that others have suffered, are suffering so much more than I am. But, my Father God assures me that His Son bore my griefs, too. I don't have to be ashamed of the fact that I am hurting, though my suffering pales in comparison to others. He is my safe place for gut level honesty. My safe place to release the ugly cry. 

God also shows me the truth about the enemy. satan sees my pain and begins to accuse the Father to me. He wants to separate me from the One Who is my Hope and Help. He wants to keep my innermost being locked down and filled with pain. satan wants my heart to be barricaded with offense towards God. "Where is God? Why is He allowing this pain in your life?", the enemy whispers.  I know better than to give into satan's lies. I know that suffering is part of living in this sin-broken world. I also know that God uses all things, even pain and suffering, for my growth and ultimate good.  And I know that the enemy wants to keep me focused on my pain. He wants me to forget God's goodness. I fight satan's lies with gratitude. I make myself take note of God's goodness in my daily gratitude journal. I count God's blessings. I spend time in God's creation and soak in the beauty around me. I spend time with my children and grandchildren-living, breathing evidences of how good God is, how blessed I am, how rich I am. I begin a journey through the Bible, looking up every scripture about God's goodness. I fight the enemy's lies with truth. satan wants me to lose heart, to give up, to quit, to lie down and let him triumph over me. I would have lost heart, UNLESS I had believed that I would see, that I have seen, the goodness of the Lord, right here in this sin-broken world that we live in.



6 comments:

  1. Elizabeth, the verse on your graphic says it all ... we would lose hope if it were not for the Lord. He is our Hope. Each time I look into the faces of my grandchildren, I remind myself there is goodness in this land and God will be our (and their) help. Thank you for this transparent post. I am praying for you this morning, sweet sister in the Lord!

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    1. That means so much to me, Joanne. Thank you!

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  2. Though I have read the Psalms many, many times I don’t remember this particular verse. I’ve certainly lived it though. Many times.

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    1. Thank you. There is much comfort in knowing others have walked the same path.

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  3. Spending time in God's beautiful creation is a good way to fight Satan's lies. God does not shield us from suffering, but he promises to be with us always. Praying for you!

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