Adversity Patience Suffering Trials

Shouting on the Mountainside

“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalms 61:2)

Have you ever shouted really loud on a mountaintop or tall hillside?

You know in your heart; you’re not going to receive a response only feel the serenity of nature. However, have you ever called to God, cried out to Him, in your most desperate times and did not receive an answer? Only the blackness of your situation or the fogginess of spiritual uncertainty met you.

I been there.

The empty responses meet our desperate hope as we cling to the promises of old: We know God is faithful. We believe God is good all the time and all the time God is good. We read Old Testament stories and believe the one True God of Abraham is real. Still we feel hesitant to say we feel: “alone”. However, let me tell you a secret, Beloved. God does not always meet our needs, our deepest tragedies and desires the same way each time or the way we want Him to.

Sometimes we grow overly consumed with the how. How is the Lord going to do it? How is the Lord going to help me pay my bills or get my car fixed? How will He fix my marriage? 

For example: How is the Lord going to help me survive the remainder of this school year?

I too, am shouting on the mountainside. I am exhausted and spent my last resources and reserve of energy from September to February. I desperately and tearfully, wanted to leave my school, night after night I poured forth prayers on my tear soaked pillow. I sought guidance from godly people and counselors, knowing in my heart, God would not remove me from this environment. 

I slowly climbed out of my delusion and realized what meal God set forth in front of me. First, my cup runneth over with wisdom and good advice from well intentioned and brilliant people. 

Second, I am here for the duration of the school year (March to June). My plate is full. 

Third, I realized wisdom is not what I need anymore or advice or even a breakthrough or a miracle (although I will never turn one down) what I need is patience. 

One of the sweetest and bitterest and hardest virtues, (due to the nature of its production), patience endures all things, specifically the patience God wants His children to bear is designed to not survive, but thrive and flourish in all circumstances. It is not so much God wants you to bloom and be a rose in the spring or summer; He purposes for His children to flourish in all seasons in the valleys restricted from sunlight to the harshest and driest winters. 

I need this perseverance to thrive in these last 70 days as an educator in this abhorrent environment. I need patience to suffer long arduous days of being over tasked with menial assignments plus the regular school wide events that feel like walking through a landmine due to the chaotic school culture such as SAT testing, after school meetings, educational staff due to resignations, habitual disrespect from students etc.

All these adversities demonstrate the Christian life promises difficulty and blessing. So, when we do not get the response we want or think life is unfair. What do we do? We start badgering God with questions of how? 

However, the how is not within our paygrade. No human being can survive without God waking us up each morning, so why are we trying to find solutions to problems requiring a higher level of thinking. It will do good for Christians to remember the neverending how questions are insignificant and quick fixes compared to an Almighty God.

God is divinely creative.

He is not concerned about answering our “how” or “why.” He has it figured out. 

The Lord God’s wisdom and brilliance is infinite. As each person has their own identifiable fingerprint, personality and spirit, God has over a million different ways of meeting our needs. God did not ordain David as King, the same way Saul was anointed. God did not create women the same way, He created man. God’s maneuvering is without a script, without a contract. We are out of our range expecting God to answer us the same way He did before or expect a deliverance or miracle when we hit hardships. 

Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus warned the disciples as He warned us, expecting a feeling of “I have arrived” or “a conflict free life” is impossible, since we dwell in a fallen world. The expectation is not if we face adversity, it is when we face adversity. Adversity strikes without warning and these things follow us all the way until death. But how wonderful it is to know Jesus has overcome the world and through His death, burial, and resurrection and been declared the ultimate authority over the natural and supernatural. Jesus is the Son of Man and Son of God, by His earthly experience He is able to sympathize with us lowly humans and all our temptations and trials. 

What stands out is Jesus being our advocate, He supplies us grace from day to day. Each day, he gives us the right amount of grace according to our needs. 

Psalms 61:2 says, ““From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Calling out to God and not getting an answer is not the end of hope, nor is the denied deliverance from our situation. On the contrary, it is the beginning of a higher, more intimate walk with God. When parents have babies, the minute they cry, parents respond almost immediately, hearing the holler and wailing of their child is a signal. Their offspring needs something or is in distress. Being the perfect parent, God can only tolerate infancy in His children for so long. Beyond His glory, it is consistently reinforced throughout scripture for Christians to mature and grow.

Steadily meeting the needs of a baby or toddler’s demands does not teach patience or self control. Likewise, “as my heart grows faint ” our response should not be to shut down or give up when situations grow abysmal. Instead cry out, “lead me to the rock that is higher than I,” lead us God to the next stop on this journey, where You want me to be. Take me higher than where I was before. In spite of what obstacles hit during the test God’s goal is to change us, so we become mature.

Christians give up too easily, nowadays. Trials build endurance. The willingness to stay in the game, to give the test our absolute best. It is in these silent moments where some of our greatest spiritual growth spurts take place. God watches intently as many Christians take strides in their faith walk in the direction they know God wants them to be. Coupled with the enormous amounts of input Christians receive daily. Sermons, audio tapes, Gospel music, godly advice, yet few take the initiative to practice and live out what is living inside them. God orchestrates these difficulties; He encourages growth. He does not want believers to remain babies, but full grown, mature believers are what He envisions.

Walking this Christian journey, guaranteed, there will be silent moments, hard moments, world collapsing moments, but take care to believe God did not or will ever forsake thee.

An empty response is not always joyous but it is an answer. God never not never answers His children. What He does is silently lead us to the place where He wants us to be.

Copyright © 2020 by A Meeting at the Well

 

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