The question that Bindu proposed this week is What if we see our problems in life as the means by which we develop a closer walk with God? JMathis answers by turning over a new leaf and waking up with joy. My response to this question brings me to tell about a year of my mom’s life.
In one season, she unexpectedly lost a true love . . . almost lost my brother as a result of a stabbing . . . lost her business, her home and barely had enough to eat . . . suffered while my second brother spent time in jail . . . she lost her dog and then her cat . . . She spent a lot of time alone. Often lonely. Coming to the point where, if not for few ties to planet earth, she was ready to come home to her heavenly space.
Bindu talks about the truth that sorrows and troubles bring us to the throne room of God. While my mother suffered in her earthly circumstances, she spent most of her time in His throne room. Much of her loneliness led her to seek the Lord day and night. She wrote her troubles and God’s response to them in her notebooks. She let Him feed her rather than rely on all the world failed to offer. She interceded for her boys who, while different circumstances, suffered deeply. She interceded for the hungry, lost and homeless. She made plans to come back and give back. And, she did just that under the wings of her God.
It is a deep place to be when one acknowledges God’s greater purposes in allowing pain and suffering. It is yet an even deeper place to be when a tiny seed of thankfulness grows in your heart as a result of pain and suffering. As your spirit acknowledges the ways of God, you become thankful. To Him. Not to the loss or the pain or the suffering, but thankful for His wiser plan and greater purposes. For His blessings in your life.
While His plan is expansive and surpasses our own understanding, it is also strikingly personal. For there is not a moment that goes by that He ceases to minister to you in your suffering. My mom knows that. Any one who has lost big knows that. I know that.
Sometimes it is A Year to Remember for spiritual growth and a year to forget earthly circumstances. Somehow I think this is the regular practice of those already in heaven. The temporal is flip-flopped. The spiritual reigns and the invisible becomes seen. The pain and suffering have been burned out by the Refiner’s Fire. What’s left is pure joy and genuine thankfulness. Oh, thank you God for a heart of thankfulness toward you, My Maker.