How do I find hope in the midst of sorrow?
I've been walking through so many transitions and processing so much change that I've found myself feeling as though I'm grieving at times. Overall, this is a very exciting season full of hope and dreams. But, some of the losses that have resulted from following the Spirit's lead have been a struggle and brought sadness where there was once joy. I know for many, that doesn't make sense to our human brains. How can following God result in sadness? That isn't how it's supposed to work if He's so good, right? It's hard to not let our thoughts go down that road.
In the midst of all the big feelings around change and loss, I've also been sensing His gentle discipline. I'm slow and messy when it comes to processing serious correction, so when I'm already feeling low I start to wonder. Really? Now? Aren't I low enough?
And then He adds the assignment of walking beside so many others who are facing devastating circumstances that are far more weighty than my own. There seem to be so many right now; people who are bearing the heaviest of burdens. I'm honored to share the load, even if only through prayer and encouragement, but for a big feeler it can all get pretty heavy sometimes.
I thank God for the encouragement He's brought to me today. He's shown me something that has profoundly shifted my perspective and allowed me to step back and see the bigger picture. Whenever He reminds me of His sovereignty, nothing feels so heavy anymore. Any grief that might rush through me is replaced with the understanding that He's busy working to make everything right. The fears that creep in are replaced with overwhelming trust in His ideas for me. I start to see that no matter how things might look right now, He's promised me a life that glorifies Him if I follow... and I can't think of a better outcome. Can you?
So here it is:
Highs and lows must co-exist.
Think about it.
There is no such thing as high without the contrast of low.
There are no highs without lows, no mountains without valleys, no restoration without devastation.
You can’t renovate a house without doing a little demo.
Being made new is going to get ugly and it’s going to cost us something.
A forest can’t grow to new heights without experiencing a fire once in awhile.
The burned up undergrowth becomes food for future growth.
When we get burned, we fight to remain standing. If we choose to let it shape us, we will be made strong for the long haul.
A heart surgeon can’t make you well without ripping open your chest. In order to get to the source of the problem the healer must inflict a wound.
There’s pain in the healing, y’all.
If you are broken, burned, or wounded I want to deliver a promise to you today:
Whatever devastation you are walking through will be nothing compared to the beauty, joy, and peace that His restoration brings to your life if you will only trust in him.
No matter what circumstances brought you to this place, He is always working to redeem and repair. Not just what you can see, but everything. When He's finished, things might not look the same as they did or how you might expect in the end...
What remains beneath the surface when it's all said and done is a firm foundation, a repaired heart, and fertile soil.
Though it may seem unrelated to what you're going through, take time to admit the things that you know are not honoring to Him so that He can remove them from your life. Don’t overthink it. Just be honest with yourself and with God about what needs to go and let it be. Stand renewed by His sacrifice on your behalf and walk in the new life that is yours for the taking. You will be restored in ways and to levels you can’t even dream of yet. I believe this is His personal message for you today.
Because I have seen God's faithfulness and abundant provision, I can confidently say to those around me that no matter what is lost, there is nothing that He will not restore beyond what existed previously.
His restoration is always greater than the devastation.
When you place the two on the scale, restoration will always outweigh devastation.
That is, in essence, the victory of the cross.
Can you choose to believe that the lows we walk through are actually a promise of even greater things to come? Can you choose to trust that the Creator is shaping your character, perfecting the work of art that is your very soul? Can you trust that He is right and working to show the world how very right He is? Can you let go of all the situations that overwhelm you and hold fast to the promise of restoration instead?
I'm praying for you. Let me know if there's something specific. I want to hear from you. Comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And keep digging.