Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.”
In the Psalms, David wrote “I am still confident of this, I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”
It seems to me that we are faced with a dilemma in our day and age. We seek to get immediately. Nobody wants to order the iPhone and then wait for weeks until the USPS is able to get that little package of (really expensive) delight to your home. No, we see lines stretch out hundreds of feet outside the door of every Apple store around the world. Everyone wants it, that day – in that hour. ASAP has become the norm. Nobody wants to wait.
This was me. I have always been a ‘get-er-done’ kind of person. I grew up knowing that if I needed something – I would have to fight for it. Que Mr. Bonhoeffer’s quote. Faith. It has to be fought for. Faith isn’t seen or felt – it’s paid for by a price of nothing more sacrificing than that of the Son of the Most High God. He paid the price we could not pay so that we could live a life that He could not live. He died, so that we may live.
Why do I say all of that? Well, because it is the foundation of my life. Fighting in Faith. Waiting for Goodness. I fight the fight of demolishing the enemy in my life – the insecurities, the doubts, the fears, the hopeless nights of tears. I fight as I wait for the goodness of the Lord. He tells me to be strong and courageous, and to wait. So that is what I do. (or try to at least). But you say, Jess, what happens when ‘life’ happens. Death, loss, pain, guilt, shame, hurt, or worse. What then? Well, just listen…
On January 2nd of 2014, I woke up bright-eyed and bushy tailed to start a new job. On January 13th, I did the same. This time, I attended a prayer service at 7am at my home church. This is the day that I learned to believe that there is a reason that He tell us that His ways are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:9) He knew that at 4:37pm that day, I would be fired after one week of employment. All in an instant, His new plan for my life began to take root.
It will never make sense and believe me, you can’t go over it more than I have. It was one of the most devastating days of my life. I gave that day way more pain and hurt than it should have been given. Why? Shouldn’t we all be devastated when something like that happens – or when your boyfriend/girlfriend breaks up with you unexpectedly, or when your husband cheats on you, or when you are out of money and still need gas? Yes, there is a grief that goes into all of that – but there shouldn’t be a hopelessness. Our foundation needs to be set – so that no matter what may come, we have His goodness, His provision, His promises to fall back on. That day, I lost sight of my foundation. I fell from the plane to sky dive and didn’t believe that my co-pilot knew what He was doing. I doubted, and I feared all within a few minutes.
My whole life changed that day. It’s a day that will be recorded in my ‘life timeline.’ It did hurt, and it will hurt. BUT, I know now more than anything – that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. God gave me a new weapon to fight with that day – that weapon was faith.
God taught me to fight in faith THROUGH the pain – not instead of. He taught me to fight in faith THROUGH the wilderness – not become depressed and drown in self-pity, THROUGH the drought – not try to provide on my own, and THROUGH the unknown – not trying to figure everything out on my own. He gave me the weapon of trusting in faith that God is who He is says He is. That day, I may have been shocked, but He wasn’t. He knew. That morning God told me – “Even in pain, you see truth…” At the time, I remember thinking – God, why tell me that now, I am not in pain? Oh, naive little human. (I doubt He said that – because He is oh so patient, but I would have.) He knew. He knew that hours later my life would completely shatter – but yet, my faith needed to stay whole.
He knows your needs before you even have the need. THAT is the God we serve. Do you need something today that you can’t even picture coming through? He is able, my friend. He is able.
This is my first post for 2014 – and will be a bookmark into this season of my life. Fighting in faith, knowing that His goodness is coming. I fight to know that though I fall, He has risen. Though I don’t know, He is all-knowing. Though I hurt, He is the Healer. Though I can’t see, He has a vision.
My friends, God knew what He was doing. I am humbled and honored to say that though I was unemployed, I was never alone. Though my bank account was negative, I was never without. And, that today, though I was unemployed, I am now employed. God knew that on January 21st, a door would open at Gateway Church. He knew that there was a place He needed me to be – not where I thought I needed to be. He knew that there will come a day where this event, though a test, adds to the testimony in my life that God can do ALL things. He made a way where was no way.
So, for four weeks I have studied the Word of God in ways I never knew I could. I have been able to rest in a way I haven’t in over ten years. I have been given a foundation for my calling – and truly believe that it will come to pass. This calling, that one day I will speak to men and women about the Healer, the Restorer, the Provider, the Deliverer, the Giver, the Lover, and the Savior that is available for all those who believe. I have been able to truly sit and rest in the truth that one day, I will marry a man that will proclaim the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living with me. We will partner and tell of the restoring power of Jesus Christ and that in the midst of our own ways – God made a new way. A better way. An immeasurably more amazing way.
Today, wherever you are – I pray you would listen to His voice. If you are struggling – lean into your pain and grief enough to grab onto it and hand it over to your Father. He longs to bless you and use this pain for a purpose. I promise, it doesn’t stop the pain, but it heals the hurt.
Keep fighting in faith. Wait for His goodness. Trust that your Heavenly Daddy has a grand story for your life and that in Him, we are capable of experiencing immeasurably more.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more that all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20