Thursday, May 12, 2011

Places of Pain

It is good to be in a place of pain.

"There I will give her back her vineyards
and will make the Valley of Achor (pain)
a door of hope."
Hosea 2:15

I feel like I am being stretched and refined and broken down. Each day is new in this. Each day is good and difficult. Each day I am tempted to go to an old habit, an old coping mechanism. I'm the queen of coping mechanisms. I tell people that if I hadn't been raised in a Christian household and hadn't known better I probably would have been into drugs and alcohol. I'm guessing the Lord just protected me from it. I'm so thankful for His work in my life.

But if I simply cope without the Lord I will just end up empty. He is the only one who can heal me. Yes, He has ripped me apart, but only He can put me back together again. One of my favorite books of the Bible is 1 Peter. It's an insane book really. :) It's all about persevering through trials, submitting to masters even when they are not good, suffering for doing good, submitting even to husbands who are not believers... Peter writes to the church in the midst of the oppression of the Roman Empire. Christians were hated, mistreated, literally thrown in among the lions to be ripped apart.

This is the verse that really gets me.
"But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear his name.
1 Peter 4:13-16

This blows my comfortable American mindset away. My people-pleasing, I want everyone to think I'm cool mindset is just floored. I want to get this scripture into my DNA. If you haven't read the book of 1 Peter you totally should. It's only 5 chapters but they will challenge you in such a way... I can't even describe it. I was reading it a few years ago and literally could not move on. I had to read it three or four times through because the Lord kept bringing me back.

I love the Word. I LOVE the life and the light that it brings. It is the most diverse, truth-filled, mindset-challenging book that you will ever read. If you want to be turned upside down and read the most poetic, painful, beautiful words, you need to read the Bible. I've been starting in Genesis lately and God is speaking afresh in my life through it. I mean, this book was written thousands of years ago and is completely relevant in my life. The Psalms speak to my soul, Song of Solomon romances me, the Prophets astound me, Jesus convicts and amazes me... I could go on.

Deep calls out to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls,
All of Your waves and Your breakers crash over me.

1 comment:

  1. This is what I had sent to Mary last night.... Just praising Jesus as I rejoice in suffering!! Such a piercing yet beautiful thing!!