The blistery cold caused me to shiver. It was winter time and it seemed as if spring would never come. The blizzard had gone on for weeks, more like months. The thought of blossoming trees and blooming flowers coloring my world with delight seemed an eternity away from the swirling snow that kept me inside. The sweet memories of summers past were long gone. And all I could think of was the never ending winter that surrounded me.
OK, I’m not stuck in a never ending winter but this quite possibly describes this past season of my heart and life. It has by no means been easy but there is a story to tell out of these winter months. Spring is coming. Beauty is beginning to bloom out of the ice covered ground.
It was March 2013. Spring time in Arkansas is beautiful with budding flowers and my favorite vibrant green coloring the fields and hills. But to me, I was still stuck in winter. I was trying to make sense of what had happened. In a matter of weeks I had lost some of the most dearest and vital things in my life. And what came after was a blizzard which overwhelmed my heart. I didn't know which way was up. I couldn't decipher where to go from here. All I knew was that I was hurt and I was alone.
-I had made a cross country move back to Arkansas- leaving some of my dearest friends in Colorado. Loneliness crept in.
-A long distance relationship with a young man had come to an end….. Unanswered questions and pangs of hurt inflicted my heart.
-My job was abruptly terminated… which looking back was a huge blessing… long story.
-My 97 year old great grandmother passed away and went to be with her Savior.
-And my dog of 10 years died too... just to top it off.
All in a matter of weeks, my heart had been through the ringer double time.
This was my blizzard. This was my winter. And it lasted for months, raging on and on.
I tried to smile and convince myself that I was OK. Logically, I could see the good that had come out of each situation but the winter still lingered.
You see, I was at a cross roads. I had a decision to make. There lied two roads. The first called out to me time and time again, to believe that God had forgotten me. He had abandoned me. He wasn't good and faithful like He promised. Thus, I could never trust Him again. He wasn't loving and compassionate but rather He was stern, angry and actually hated me. I could forget God all together, believing that He had failed me. I could move on without a reason to believe or trust and live life on my own terms and in my own way.
The second road was far quieter than the first one. It was a gentle whisper, I could barely hear it. But it longed for me to listen… even though I really didn't want to. It beckoned me to look up out of the world that surrounded me, into the eyes of my Redeemer. As I looked I could believe that Jesus Christ- God Almighty was bigger than any circumstance or storm I would ever face. That even in the midst of my pain and loneliness His faithfulness had not abandoned me. Yes, pain had been inflicted- there was no denying that reality. But there was purpose. There was meaning. There was a reason to believe. There was a reason to trust. There was a reason to rejoice. There was a reason to worship… even though I couldn't see. Even though I couldn't understand or make sense of life at the moment.
But I finally came to the conclusion…. I either believed God entirely or I didn't believe in Him at all… The choice was mine.
But was following Jesus really worth it? This was not what I had planned or what I thought following Jesus would be like. I felt used. I felt weak. I felt worn. This life was not the world I had dreamed up. It was not perfect like I hoped it would be. It was hard. It hurt. It sucked (to put it frankly.)
But my view was so limited and only focused the momentary storm that surrounded me and not on the big picture. God was up to something and it was bigger than my broken heart, shattered hopes and beyond my little plans. It went far past my momentary pain.
It was for my greatest good and His glory that He strip me of my entitlements and the idols that crowded my heart. I needed to be His and His alone. My heart was split between little loves. He is a jealous God and He was not about to share His glory with another. And it was for my sanctification that He purge me.
So what road did I choose?
Jesus. He is bigger than my circumstances. He is reigning. I will stand. I will stand on His promises that are completely 100% true. He is absolutely, and perfectly faithful. He is the only hope that lasts when everything is stripped away.
I can TRUST Him. I can actually TRUST Him. Completely. Wholly. TRUST Him.
Not just say that I do because it’s the cliche things for Christian people to say.
This isn't about having a perfect or carefree life that I create. (Because who really has a life like that?)
This is about Jesus.
This is about Him having His rightful place in my heart. This is about His glory. Where I can honestly say,
"Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever." (Psalm 73:25-26)
But this is about Jesus and looking back and seeing His faithfulness coloring every season of my life. I can actually start living because it is not about me anymore. But Him. This is Grace. This is what the adventure is about. Walking with Jesus ever leaning on Him- every step of the way.
I don’t know what you’re facing. I don’t know if you’re in the midst of a summer of blossoming flowers green grass or a whirling winter that is overwhelming your heart and life.
But may I say this:
Jesus is bigger than any circumstance, any situation.
You must stand on the promises. Told them tight. Don’t let go.
He hasn't failed. He wont start now.
Believe your God.