Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Seasons of Sorrow

These past 8 and a half months have seemed to be some of the hardest months for me as well as for those around me. Each week, it seems like more and more often difficult circumstances overwhelm the positives. However, I do see God teaching me so much.
I am currently reading a few books, and one of them is the book The Sacred Sorrow by Michael Card. If you have not read it, it really is a "must read" if you want to really expand and grow in your worship of the Lord. I have been reading about Job and have been reminded of the struggle he experienced throughout his season of trials. I was reminded of his initial response to the "bad news" he received ~ he worshiped God. So many times, my initial response is not worship. It is more often sorrow and pity. As I read this book, I am reminded of another book entitled The misery of Job and the Mercy of God by John Piper, which I currently have lent out. But that book too, reminded me often of God's Sovereignty even in Job's sorrows.
Today I found an article I printed off many many years ago before I was even married. In it, I was reminded of the fact that "Whatever happens is assigned...Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good." ~ Elisabeth Elliot So many times we talk about the "blessings" God has given us, but we don't like to see the sorrow's as something give to us lovingly from His hand. As the old hymn says, "Every joy or trial, falleth from above. Placed upon our dial by the Son of Love...." ~ "Like a River Glorious" As the article continues, "A quiet heart is content with what God gives. It is enough. All is grace.....My assignment entails my willing acceptance of my portion....We can only know that Eternal Love is wiser than we, and we bow in adoration of that loving wisdom." ~ Elisabeth Elliot. I do think, often, that accepting the things God has given as "my portion" is often very challenging. I don't always like the things God has placed in my life. But I am learning that joy is truly found in focusing on God and His character and less on the circumstances surrounding me. Not even the foolishness of "comparing my lot" to another's lot, will dim the struggles surrounding me. Only the knowledge of Who God is and the quietness that comes from submitting my will to His. And as the article concludes, "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances." ~ Elisabeth Elliot. I am continually aware of my need of Christ, these days. I want more of Him; less of me. Most days, I feel I get in my own way. Praise God for Christ...praise God for His molding me more into His character. Praise God for mercy and Grace.
So, today, as I meditate on the aspect of worship and God's character, I am reminded that all is in His hand. He assigns my portion and lot. And in Him, I can rest and stand secure.

Day by Day by Karolina W. Sandell-Berg
  1. Day by day, and with each passing moment,
    Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
    Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
    I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
    He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
    Gives unto each day what He deems best—
    Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
    Mingling toil with peace and rest.
  2. Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
    With a special mercy for each hour;
    All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
    He Whose Name is Counselor and Pow’r.
    The protection of His child and treasure
    Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
    “As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
    This the pledge to me He made.
  3. Help me then in every tribulation
    So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
    That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
    Offered me within Thy holy Word.
    Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
    E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
    One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
    Till I reach the promised land.

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