"Through the Word of God we are nourished, but through adversity we are pruned." Jerry Bridges, Trusting God
Oh boy. I read this little nugget this morning after I bought Trusting God for my Kindle because my many copies I had of my favorite book are now unusable. I don't know why it hit me so hard today, I know this truth from studying the Word and preaching this exact thing to many of my friends. I suppose it's because I can literally feel the pruning this week. The deep sorrow of every breath I take. We have been provided with SO much through the Body of Christ, that it feels somewhat selfish to mourn all that we have lost, given that the outcome could have been so much worse and we could be mourning the loss of lives right now.
The grief comes in waves, usually triggered by a dream or just driving by the house or remembering that the route we take home is not the same coming back from the store. This time though, it was triggered by a vacation. We took the kids to a house for 3 days that we have stayed at in the past so they could swim and we could focus on each other instead of all the chores at home. Although we had a great time, I came home so heavy-hearted that I can feel myself slipping into a depression. Leaving my things for just a few days caused so much anxiety for me, not knowing if something would happen to them while we were gone. The packing and unpacking brought back traumatic memories of all the immediate aftermath of the fire. We also found out yesterday that they will consider the contents of our house a total loss. We were hoping for that conclusion for financial purposes, but I didn't expect the gut punch that came with it. Immediately, items left in the house that I was hoping to recover, began flashing through my mind. To know that everything we have accumulated over 12 years of marriage was going to be gone - thrown away - it's hard to wrap my head around. We worked so hard to save money to buy and/or build many things in that house. It feels like such a waste.
"God never wastes our pain..." I hear it every time I begin to sulk. I take those thoughts captive and think about what I've learned since this happened. I've learned humility. We have been given so much from so many people. To be on the receiving end of blessings is so different than being the giver. We initially felt a sense of guilt accepting all this help and financial assistance. I had to keep reminding myself over and over again that this was God meeting our needs through others and to be nothing but thankful for their acts of love.
A week before the fire, I felt pulled to James 4:13-15
Come now and pay attention to this, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and carry on our business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know the least thing about what may happen in your life tomorrow. What is secure in your life? You are merely a vapor, like a puff of smoke or a wisp of steam from a cooking pot, that is visible for a little while and then vanishes into thin air. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and we will do this or that.”
I know I wrote this in my last post, but I need to express it again - there is no need to worry about what might happen in the future - good or bad. If you are following Christ, He will carry you through the hard times. You will endure with His help. You are never alone.
"I am with you always, remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion, even to the end of the age." - Jesus, Matthew 28:20