Friday, September 21, 2012

Keeping My Eyes on the Unseen

God and I have been having a bit of tussle. That is to say, I have been disappointed, listening to endless amounts of Psalms on CD, and begging Him for help. The King, regal and great, lovingly watches me while I  have my tantrum.

Our Lord is complete control - of everything. That's part assuring and part disappointing.  Being chosen by God never ceases to amaze me, and I wouldn't leave my prison cell for any tempting earthly delicacy. Look around. Would you want all the suffering, that floods the world, to be for naught?

On the other hand, He's seen my faithfulness through 20 years of suffering, American style persecution,  and hardship. Like Joseph and Job, can't I be released from prison or receive the gold ring?

His great love for me allows this training, the testing, and potential eternal reward. But I struggle to keep my eyes on the unseen. I don't expect NOT to endure hardship, but as my Husband, I want to experience His goodness in the land of the living. Help with debt, endless medical bills and a diagnosis for a dangerous condition one of my children is suffering from - to name a few. Or, maybe a professional job that pays much more than I make now.

If what the prophets say are true, than I am in the cat-bird seat. I have gone without, I only exist in the will of God (well, that is when I'm not having a tantrum), I've been slandered publicly, lied about in courts, yada, yada, yada. I am so thankful that God loves me enough to deal with all my sins ahead of time. Can you imagine the day when our brethren no longer have their apps on the phone, ability to buy a shiny new cars, take vacations or worse, feed their families?

Most American Christians have not endured much suffering and so I posted what I thought would be helpful on a Christian chat group, for a member who is struggling. I was chastised by another poster for having hardships. It brought back old feelings, the treatment that I received from some Christians because my life wasn't visually blessed. Sure, when the tribulation arrives, that poster won't remember his arrogance. It's human nature, as I've said before, we always forget our own misdeeds much quicker than those of others.

After pondering about the comment, and praying, I believe two things are at work. The immature Christians, whose sufferings are minimal, judge others by their own measure of "joy." The joy I experience isn't happiness, and I believe the two are confused by Christians. I have tremendous joy (well, you know, most of the time), and it is based on being called by God, knowing that he carries me in times of testing, and seeing what He's done in the lives of my children. The joy of the Lord is my strength. Rescuing me 30 plus years ago from the ugly life that many people suffer with. I am BLESSED! Happiness can be fleeting and is typically associated with earthly things. Not bad, just not the same.

Let me describe what great joy is like: I wrote paragraph four of this post several days ago. I was so overwhelmed with hospital and medical debt, I have been looking fervently for a second job. Two of my children work two jobs while attending college, and the other one works well over 40 hours a week. I have been paying 10-15 bills in tiny increments every month, but the last hospitalization three weeks ago included out of pocket costs that made it impossible. The elder one phoned my sick child, and offered a large amount of money for the medical bills. It was money that had been saved for a tithing donation and the elder believed our need was greater.

Can you imagine being the parent of these kinds of kids? With what they've endured, to have such tender hearts for one another and still serving God - talk about JOY!

The second thing I prayed about, which I was accused of, was bitterness. I searched my heart, and while I found extreme fatigue, occasional comparing, a bit of envy, I found no bitterness. I was a bit sad. You see, when I "joined" this online forum and listened to some fabulous sermons, I thought that the Christians would be different. Like some that I knew in my hometown. I know the 7,000 are out there, I just had hoped I would have found one or two. They're good, earnest folk, and when they lose it all, some will rise to the occasion.

A social worker at the hospital said I may be able to get paid for taking care of Mom. I mailed in the application today. She requires so much assistance - I'm beat. The outcome of my work injury? They moved me to a different department, and my lifting is reduced about 80%! I don't get near as dirty, but there are many more customers to assist - and people get crabby if they're not waiting on right away :). I don't care. Bring on the snarls, I'd rather deal with that than permanently injure my arm. Plus, the cortisone shots I received were amazing - I know they don't work on everyone, but I feel great.

So, as my Pastor would say, "God is on the throne." Teaching us to live by His will, one day at a time, preparing us to help those whose happiness dries up when things get messy.


  1. Another terrific post. Not sure there's anything I can say that would be any help to you, but I did want to comment that your words have been read and appreciated.



  2. Dave,

    Thanks for checking in. The years I spent learning how to handle persecution and tribulation were very lonely years, especially because very few people could "see." Perhaps this blog won't be relevant for too many folk until things get much worse.

    As always, my enthusiasim and expectations got in the way :).

    Appreciate the kind words.