Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Learning God's Lessons

Life is full of struggles. Sometimes our trials are small and sometimes they are life changing. Even when you are surrounded by love and support, you can feel alone. That's how I felt a couple months ago. However, during this time God has been working on me, I can feel it.

My last miscarriage took a toll on me. It hit me hard physically and emotionally. However, I have felt God beside me, holding me up the whole way. It has been a struggle where I have felt isolated and confused. But it is in the roller coaster of emotions, the difficult journey, where God teaches us. It is in time of struggle that God challenges and molds our character into becoming Men and Women of God.

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Elijah provides a perfect example of growing into a Man of God through isolation and struggle...

1 Kings 17:1-7
“Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!”
Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food. So Elijah did as the Lord told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land.”

Elijah comes on the scene at a time of great struggle for Israel. The country was in a bad state thanks to the poor choices of seven kings straying further away from God. Elijah came seemingly out of nowhere to deliver a message to King Ahab (the present king)--There will be no more rain until Elijah says otherwise. What a bold statement from a young prophet. However, just as quickly as Elijah appears, he is gone.

It is easy to assume that God wanted to protect Elijah from Ahab'a wrath during the upcoming drought. However, there is more to the story than simply hiding out. During Elijah's isolation by the brook, he is able to form an intimate relationship with God who teaches him how to pray and become a true Man of God.
Elijah is first described simply as a man from Tishbe in Gilead (1 Kings 17:1). But after his time of isolation and struggle, Elijah is openly transformed into a Man of God (1 Kings 17:24). During our times of struggle God teaches us how to fully rely on him. The isolation gives us a chance to focus wholly on God and not on the distractions of the world and of Satan.

Elijah trusted God when he lead him to a brook so he would have water when the drought began, and he ate thanks to raven that God commanded to bring him food. Even when the water from the brook began to dry up thanks to his earnest prayer for no rain, he did not cease. Even through the increasing struggle, Elijah continued to trust God and follow through with his mission. These struggles that come through prayer often mean that God is working on something big in your life. Life is never going to be full of pleasantries. Instead, it is full of good and evil, but it difficult to really appreciate the good without the bad to keep you in perspective and teach you God's ways. It is very difficult to learn God's lessons without struggle.
God teaches in these moments of vulnerability. He teaches us to pray, to love, to sacrifice, to trust him, to rely on him and how to rise above our circumstances. By keeping our hearts focused on praising our Almighty God, even through struggles, we transform into Men and Women of God.

While I went through the many emotions and pains of miscarriage, I felt isolated, even though I knew my family and friends were praying and supporting me. I felt like no one could possibly know how I felt--I'm not sure I even knew how I felt. But God did. He took my hand and led me, sometimes carrying me through.

Even though I prayed earnestly to have a healthy baby, God had a different plan for me. God taught me a great deal during my struggle. He taught me:
  • Life is a miracle that should never be taken for granted or ignored.
  • Whatever God carries you to,  he will carry you through
  • Sometimes the answer to prayer is no, but only because there is something greater in store
  • Pain is fleeting, but love, knowledge and understanding carry on forever
  • There are blessings all around all the time, we just have to open our eyes to God to see them
I have always felt a call to counsel and guide others. Perhaps for me this is the direction that calling with manifest. I hope that my struggles and lessons learned from God can help others understand and deal with loss and miscarriages. I know I also still have lots to learn at the feet of Jesus, but I do know that most struggles serve a higher purpose. I pray for all of those who have gone through loss or are going through it now, I pray that you listen as God teaches you through this time of struggle and for God to cover you with peace and love.

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