Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hard Providence

So you're young and you've got your days planned out. You pretty much have your future planned. You know, fall in love, get married, have some kids and live happily ever after. Oh, if it were actually that easy! Maybe we should ban fairy tales?

I believe that all of us have a hard Providence at some point in our life and most will get more than one. A hard Providence is something from the hand of God, that is so heart wrenching, that we have no choice but to walk though. It is something we would NEVER choose to go through ourselves; it may be an unfaithful spouse, suffering abuse, a paralyzing accident, being barren, a prodigal child or even the death of a child.

We've experienced a few hard Providences in our married life. First was the death of our 1 day old daughter. Very little can compare to burying your child.

Second, was going through 2 surgeries to allow us to have more children that were unsuccessful. It was hard to accept a "No" from God especially since our motives were pure. That was truly like going through a death, a death of a vision.

Third, we have experienced a wayward child. When you pour all you have into raising children to the glory of God and one chooses to walk away from Truth, that is one of the most devastating things that can happen. Because as Christians we know our spiritual lives are even more important than our physical lives.

All of these situation are NOT roads I would choose to walk. All of them are things that I have not been able to *fix*. They are hard Providences.

To be completely honest, I have walked down all these roads, kicking and screaming, "I DON'T WANT TO WALK DOWN THIS ROAD!!!!! God give me something else, but not THIS! I don't want to drink from THIS stream of suffering".

Recently I was praying for dear friends who were suffering after loosing their child. I was praying for another friend who is enduring an unfaithful husband and praying for our most recent hard Providence. I asked God for understanding, none of it made sense.

Then I started thinking Biblically. I thought of the path Jesus walked to the cross. Did Jesus want the path He walked? Did He choose that or did His Father choose it for Him? His Father chose it.

He even asked his Father to remove it (the suffering/death/hell) from Him to the point of sweating blood! Can you imagine?

Even while He was on the cross He asked why His Father had forsaken Him. I have had many times of feeling forsaken, and even doubting my faith when in the depths of a hard Providence.

After He agonized in prayer with his Father in the garden and his closest friends had deserted him, what did he do?

He WILLINGLY walked the road that led to salvation for all of us. Just because He was willing doesn't mean He didn't feel the pain. And why did He do that? It was His Father's Providence,

So now I am thinking that I should not consider my self as a 'kicking and screaming Christian', As one who has to always question God's Providence for me, funny I don't question the good ones that FAR out number the bad ones. I long to be a follower who is willing to submit to the suffering so that God can be glorified. Jesus came to earth to do the will of the Father, so that WE MAY HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE!

I am learning that while I am walking the path of suffering, God's grace is sufficient. It is normal to question, to grieve, to doubt and agonize. In the end it brings me closer to Jesus, I am identifying with His sufferings, and the Father WILL be glorified. He gives me everything I need to get to the end. He even gives blessings along the way, for he has promised never to leave or forsake me, although sometimes it feels that way.

At my last breath on this journey all that matters is that I walked HIS CHOSEN path, WILLINGLY, so that I could share His life with others.

Some of us bring on hard roads because of our own doings, but he is faithful to lead us in the paths of righteousness, if we'd quit kicking and screaming.

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