Is it a Loss or Growth?
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4.
I think of her story often, especially when I am faced with change. Each time I read her story God shows me something new. His word is like that. His word is alive and will meet you at your point of need.
This past year has been a trying year for me; a real test of faith. At times it was as though I were on an emotional roller coaster. I would find myself at the peak of a high and think I have arrived, only to be plummeted down the next slope. Up and down. Seriously, I do not know how people survive life without knowing Jesus.
Do you ever feel that way? Just as you arrive to the peak of the mountain you are staring at the ground floor again? I don’t know about you, but I am going to be real honest here, there were moments where I really questioned if I would have the strength to start all over again. And to be even more real, if it weren’t for the grace of God and His love for me, I would have probably just sat down and stared into oblivion and wish it all to be over. Doesn’t sound very spiritual, does it? I am just being real.
This is when I was reminded of the Shunammite woman. I can imagine her voice, her heart, her grief, when she said to Elisha, “Did I desire a son? Did I not say ‘do not deceive me?”
I have said things very similar to God. It is OK for me to share this with you, because He knows anyway. My moaning’s to God sounded something like this, “Why would you give this to me, just to take it away? I am tired of starting over! It is not fair! When will it be my turn? How much more do I have to take?!”
The thing about pity parties is no one shows up. It is usually a party of one. Even when you felt you did everything right, it wasn’t your fault, you may still find yourself at the bottom of the roller coaster, scratching your head and wondering what just happened. Perhaps it is a relationship gone bad, a loss of a job, loss of home, health issues, or any other curve ball that has been thrown at you.
Let us remember, trials will come. Things do happen, to all of us. Not everyone we want in our lives will want to stay there. There will be times you will be misunderstood, harshly judged, and wrongly accused. It happens to all of us. But this does not have to be the end of us. The dream He gave you, He hasn’t taken it back. The gifts He gave you, He hasn’t taken that back either. Just because it has not come to pass the way you thought it would does not mean it will not come to pass.
James 1 says, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave in the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man and unstable in all his ways.
God does, and will, open doors. We still have to do our part and walk through them. He will also close doors and we will have to choose to trust Him and let that door close.
My friend, I write this to encourage you. Though the plans you laid, have fallen, trust the Lord. His ways are perfect. Trust Him when He says your steps are ordered by Him. Listen for His voice. You will not always see a big flashing sign pointing you in the direction you should go. You may not even get the memo warning you change is coming and it may happen abruptly. But what you can count on and trust, is His Spirit to lead you.
So when your foundation has been shaken, when all you thought you had gained has been stripped away from you, in that moment of decision, choose to believe. Shut the pity party down. Ask God to search your heart and let this time have its perfect work, so what is produced from this will bring forth a harvest. Be like the Shunammite woman, she did not assemble a funeral, she went right to the source. Take it to Jesus, my friend.
If you walk in forgiveness, maintain a teachable spirit, and choose love; you will see this is not a season of loss, but of growth.
Be Free & Stay Free