It's amazing how when you hear yourself give someone else advice it often hits harder for you then, you think, it did that person!!!!!
Last night my daughter came out of the bathroom just weeping... I called her over to me and "nuggled" (snuggle) quickly...
"What is WRONG?" I asked......
"I just want your BACK TO GET BETTER" she sobbed... through the tears!
**side note.. as a mother, I believe THIS is the worst part of it all... WATCHING your family get worn down from the extra load.. and not being able to do anything about it.....
She then preceded to say that she can't sleep at night because is is So AFRAID!!!
And like being on a Merry Go Round it hit me; as I am far to familiar with this pattern that goes on...
Here is the pattern...
I go through PAIN... She goes through FEAR... And then REALIZATION... and then I LAUGH!!
So let me explain...
You see the devil is a coward.. He only does the same thing over and over.. that's all he knows.. However it WORKS (if we let it) and the cycle goes on.... Just when I think I simply can not handle another thing...Wham!! I'm hit with another, another and yet another thing... Still holding on to the truth and praying I can battle this storm out.. One last wave hits me in the face... It's a big one... this should be the one to knock me off my course and doubt and curse God... right? (WRONG) Satan has been working and working on me.. he can not find what will work so he tries to BULLY my daughter.. Yes that's right bully...
bul·ly 1 (bl)
n. pl. bul·liesv. bul·lied, bul·ly·ing, bul·lies
1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.
1. To treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner. See Synonyms at intimidate.
2. To make (one's way) aggressively.
Then comes the REALIZATION...
Yes Satan is trying to steal, kill and destroy.. (John 10:10) BUT this isn't HIM at all... I believe we GIVE SATAN way too much credit!! God allows things to happen in our lives... GOOD OR BAD....
Several reasons God’s people suffer at the hand of a God who is both good and great.
(1) To suffer is divine.
Because we live in a fallen world we will suffer sin until the coming of the Lord..
Romans 8:18 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us"
1 Peter 4:19 Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right"
1 Peter 4:14-16 "If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 By no means let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God"
God may use all forms of suffering for His glory and for our good, but the kind of suffering for which Christians are commended is righteous suffering “the sufferings of Christ,” we should remind ourselves that, since our Lord was “without sin,”
1 Peter 2:21-22 "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps"
Matthew 26:39 "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
1 Peter 22:24 "He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you been healed"
(2) Suffering draws us closer with Him
Suffering as believers in him enables us to know God as we would not otherwise know Him. If it were not for sin, we could not know the grace of God manifested in the sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus Christ. If it were not for Satan, and for all those who oppose our God, we should not know His omniscience (all-knowing) and omnipotence (all-powerful). If it were not for suffering, we would not know God’s mercy, compassion, and comfort. Suffering is a divinely appointed means of knowing God intimately.
James 1:2 "“Consider it all joy, … when you encounter various trials”
Suffering is intended to draw us near to the heart of God
(3) Suffering is God’s means of equipping us to minister to others
But it would be wrong for us to view our sufferings in a selfish way. As our Lord’s sufferings were for our benefit and blessing, our sufferings are intended to be a blessing to others.
2 Corinthians 1:3-6 " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer"
From the outset of His ministry, Jesus made it clear that contrary to popular belief and teaching, suffering is indeed not a curse, but a blessing:
2 And opening His mouth He began to teach them, saying, 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12 Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:2-12).
Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
**REFERENCE: Why Bad Things Happen to God’s People (2 Cor. 1:1-11) Study By: Bob DeffinbaughFrom the Series: Religious Affections: A Study of Paul's 2 Corinthian Correspondence
As I was explaining to my daughter that we need to hold on to God's promises and his truth, I explained to her that if we could just picture this as a story we really would start to LAUGH!!!
MAIN CHARACTERS: Jesus, Me, my daughter and Satan...
SETTING: A room where Jesus is on one side, Satan on another, Me and My daughter in the middle of the room
SYNOPSOIS: In attempts to make us loose focus of Gods truth, Satan begins to throw darts and rocks at us.. He uses pain from my back, discouragement, frustration.. he throws in some hidden financial expenses, a broken vehicle, regret, guilt, teenage drama, hurt feelings, exhaustion in my other family members: all among a holiday season... The attacks are wearing on me but not defeating me... Satan gets mad, in a desperate rage of fits he uses my daughter by putting fear into her at night to where she experiences sleepless nights.. Satan senses the light and is afraid to come too close to us so remains in a corner and throws the darts harder and harder... Jesus has allowed this to go on for some time he sees how this is producing fruit in his child to bring his name glory, but HIS child has had enough.. HIS light shines brighter in efforts to let Satan know he is still in control... Satan is outraged.. begins to throw harder... AND THEN... We stand on the promises of the TRUTH and we begin to whisper the name JESUS... Satan trembles... we say JESUS.. Satan falls to his knees... we say Jesus again.. again.. .again.. and all of a sudden my daughter and I are laughing as we visualize how easy it is to make SATAN so SCARED!!!!
At least my daughter is done crying by this point but how do I explain these biblical truths to her in a way she can understand??? I, myself, know the truths but there are days I have a hard time understanding them.......
So I use the example of baking a cake.....
There are ingredients that we put into a cake that are not good if we ate them by itself such as
However there are some ingredients that we put into the cake that we would love to eat by itself such as
This is how God works as well... sometimes he needs to add to our lives some Yucky things along with some GOOD things to help us develop perseverance, trust and hope in the LORD.... But in the end these ingredients make a cake that is so yummy... During our times of trials and "bad things" we would not want to say, that is what our life is made up of. However, it is combined to our lives to make our lives better!!!!
With this we worked on a pillow case... We wrote scriptures about fear and the truth behind the fear.. So that she could lay her head on the truth of God's word.. Oh, the peace we have to be able to rest in the promises of his words....
With that she went to bed.. and I was left pondering my motherly advice that I had just given her....
Oh to rest in the PROMISES of GODS WORD... and to know that what we are going through has come from God's very hand.. he knows that we will be able to overcome such pain, trails, and tribulations... WE need to have faith and trust that he actually KNOWS what he is doing!! To be able to say we have OVERCOME our struggles so that we may be able to BOAST in the LORD is so rewarding for this moment in time... I rest assured that I am standing on HIS PROMISES!!!!!