Some days are hard, and today has been one of those days (actually the past week has been one of those weeks) where I have found myself longing for life to calm down! Oh, for a quiet, relaxing, and carefree day at the beach! :) I'll be honest. These have been faith-stretching days, days of clinging to God's promises in the midst of fears. I've wrestled with discontentment and impatience. I've battled with worry and anxiety. I've gone up and down on this roller coaster of faith and unbelief so many times the past few days that my head is spinning. This has been one crazy ride...
Even as I've wished for the storm to go away and the waves to be still, I know that the Lord is after more. He's after my heart. He's after my trust. He's after me being willing to relinquish my control and loosen my grip. It's easy to trust when the water is calm and when the ocean is still. But when the waves are crashing, it is hard. Very hard. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief...
"Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: tempests are her trainers, and lightnings are her illuminators. When a calm reigns on the sea, spread the sails as you will, the ship moves not to its harbour; for on a slumbering ocean the keel sleeps too. Let the winds rush howling forth, and let the waters lift up themselves, then, though the vessel may rock, and her deck may be washed with waves, and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway toward her desired haven...
No faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity. Tried faith brings experience. You could have not believed your own weakness had you not been compelled to pass through the rivers; and you would never have known God's strength had you not been supported amid the water-floods. Faith increases in solidity, assurance, and intensity, the more it is exercised with tribulation. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too."
Even though this vessel may rock, even if our deck is washed in waves and our mast creaks under the pressure, I can be sure that God will cause all of these things, even the storms, to work together for our good and for His glory. This is more than a theory. It's more than a hope. It is TRUTH, and sometimes all we can do is cling to it. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief...
" Upon some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows for instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it rocks the most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the world's tiller, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah steers it. That re-assuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, "It is I, be not afraid." He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise..."
I am so thankful for the whispers I heard today. Even as this day was beginning, I heard His voice as I opened my Bible... "Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened. Do not be afraid of anyone, and do not worry. Do not dread or be afraid of their threats, nor be disturbed by their opposition." You see, I didn't even know this morning all of the things that would unfold this day. But the Lord knew. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him. NOTHING!!! He knew the fears I would face. He knew I would be tempted to worry, and He gave me the very words from First Peter to cling to even before I realized I would need them. He is always our faithful provider, and I am so thankful. And now as the day is coming to an end, I can rest in full assurance knowing that the Lord is using these storms to bring about our greatest good and His highest praise, glory, and honor!
Thank You, Lord, for this precious faith and also for the trials that make it even stronger...
In this you greatly rejoice,
even though now for a little while,
if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
that the proof of your faith,
being more precious than gold which is perishable,
even though tested by fire,
may be found to result in praise and glory and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ...
I Peter 1:6-7
I have thought so many times over the past few days about the words from the advocate's blog who I have mentioned recently. Of course, the Enemy is going to attack and try his best to thwart adoption. Why would I expect to not face storms, challenges, and opposition?
"It's a known fact in the adoption community that if you want your faith to be tested like never before...adopt a child! Why? Because this is spiritual warfare! Adoption is about rescuing children out of captivity--taking them out of darkness and bringing them into HIS glorious light. It is about the Kingdom of God advancing on the earth and many, many children being rescued from the most horrific situations our hearts could ever imagine."
Wow! Is that ever true! It is warfare, and tonight the armor is going on! I'm so thankful for the shield of faith that God gives us, and thankful that it can extinguish the flaming missiles of the evil one...
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.
Put on the full armor of God,
that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood...