"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose". Romans 8:28

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pain into Joy

Last week I was filled with joy from the Lord and brokenness for the people of Peru, but after a spiritual high usually follows a spiritual low. I have definitely experienced that this week. I had shared in a recent post about the pain that I have been experiencing with my back and how I have been going to a chiropractor to try and get some relief. God has provided funds to make this possible, but for some reason I am not getting any better, but at times feel worse. My attitude was not pleasing to the Lord and I allowed my trial and circumstance to get me down further instead of relying on God's strength and allowing this trial to refine and purify me. Tuesday I hit the bottom and was just overwhelmed with the pain and the fact that I wasn't able to fully do the work that God has called me to do in Peru. I was questioning why I would be brought all the way to Peru just to experience this pain. My thoughts were very irrational and I wasn't allowing God to carry this burden for me, I was just trying to survive on my own strength, and that never works!

My beautiful roommate Cailyn, who received the brunt of my negativity, lifted me up in prayer, encouraged me with Psalm 139, and along with my brother Stephen, called a prayer gathering. Although I thought I was fine and didn't want to inconvenience anyone, it was exactly what we each needed. All of my Cusco family and two of my dear sisters from the Arequipa group came and embraced me in prayer and gave me many words of encouragement. We also lifted up those in Extreme because I wasn't the only one who was experiencing difficulties. It was a beautiful display of what the church is suppose to do: carry each others burdens. My sister Beth told me that this is God's way of purifying me and it will help me become more prepared for what is to come ahead. Another one of my brothers told me that there is a difference in joy and happiness. Happiness is outwardly, but joy comes from the Lord.

These past few days God has revealed to me that there are some trials and burdens that he does not intend to lift, but wants us to allow him to help us carry them. Last night at our group Bible study, Tia shared about protecting our energy source. There were times when I felt she was speaking directly too me. It was exactly what I needed to hear. She mentioned that when we are going through a trial, we need to ask God to give us wisdom to learn what we need to through it and to believe that what we asked for will happen. There was also a part about as we go through a trial, we need to make sure we aren't emotionally taking it out on others, but rather we need to turn our focus off ourselves and onto others.

My prayer and attitude about my pain has drastically changed and am now in the mindset that God will be glorified through this and that as I persevere, I will become even stronger in him. I know that the joy of the Lord is my strength, so I am going to choose to be joyful despite the pain, knowing that this trial will only last for a time.

" The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all". Psalm 34:17-19

"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us". Romans 5:3-5

No comments:

Post a Comment