If I had to describe this season of my life it would be with the following phrase “this would not be the way I would have chosen.” God; however, has chosen this path for me. He has chosen 10 months of debilitating migraines, crippling food allergies and countless nights of restless sleep. He has chosen to give me no medical explanation or cure. He has chosen a path formerly unknown to me, a path of new trials and pain.
My Father has tested my faith over and over again, in many ways I hope never to repeat. He has pushed me beyond my limits and right into His loving arms of care. He has shown me my utter inability to change my circumstances, but greater still, He has shown me His love.
I love God more now than before this trial began. I know God loves me even if this trial never ends. I plead for it to end. But I trust His sovereign care. I trust that He knows what’s best and that His desire is not to harm (Lamentations 3:31-33). He is not vindictive or harsh. My God weeps over the pains His children endure, and as one of His children, I know without a doubt that His compassion extends to me (Psalm 103:13). He hears my feeble cries (Psalm 145:19). He listens to my weak prayers (Psalm 61:2). He does not condemn my questions and doubts, but instead He cares and wants me to cast those anxieties on Him (1 Peter 5:7), He strengthens me with His promises (Psalm 119:25, 28). He comforts me that I will never walk alone (Deut 31:8, Is. 41:8-10, Matthew 28:20), that nothing can separate me from Him (Romans 8:38-39) and that others have successfully walked this path before me (Psalm 88, 27, 91, Hebrews 11-12).
You see, though in my mind, this is the path less traveled, in God’s eyes it is not. The way of salvation is hard. The path is rough and few follow on that path of suffering. But the joys… oh the joys are incomprehensible. One day, I will be with my Lord. I will gaze in the eyes of my Savior that suffered worse pain than I could ever know. He took what I never will – separation from His Father. I will see others, like William Cowper, who suffered for years in pain, yet chose despite all odds to praise his loving God. Oh, I long to talk to him about his struggles… about his many nights of depression and doubts and struggling and to hear intimate encounters between him and his God who lovingly held him through each of those nights. I look forward to meeting those who died daily for Christ, whether by a martyr’s death or in the daily fight against sin. I want to hear how God was bigger than each horrible circumstance that men and devils created for them to endure.
So, in my weakness, He is proving His strength. In my despair, He is becoming my joy. He is fulfilling my longings and providing all the comfort my soul needs. In my agony, He is reminding me that He bore my eternal agony so I could know joy. I praise Him for His steadfast love and compassion. I rejoice, as Paul (sorrowful, yet rejoicing) in my infirmities as I see more of His power displayed through my weaknesses. And I look to Him in faith, my tender, compassionate Father that has the power to give life to this mortal body (Romans 8:11).