Monday, February 13, 2006
Dear Family and Friends,
I don't pretend to understand for a moment any of the last two years. This has been, without question, one of the stormiest seasons of my life. I empathized in an email this morning with a friend who is also going through a tough time. As I wrote to her, I searched my own heart. I didn't want to offer her pat answers. I wanted to be transparent and real.
Don't ask me how I know, I just know when God speaks to my heart. And He spoke to me after I hit the send button and my e-mail was on its way. Mostly for my own self I knew that it was time to make a public declaration of my faith in God and His presence in my life.
I still believe it to be true: we can go through anything if our heart is at peace. Satan knows that, and it's the first thing he tries to take away. He delights in kicking us when we're down. He's been at this business of discouragement for a long time. He knows just what to say to tempt us to listen. He makes lies sound like truth. He whispers, "God's forgotten you" even though He hasn't. He insists, "There's no hope," even when there is. He torments, "Nobody cares," even when they do. I know he says those things, because he said them to me and I listened.
I wish I had answers, but I don't. This one thing I do know, God does not abandon His own. When a heart is broken, He's close by. He is tender when we suffer. When our light is barely flickering, He does not snuff it out. Instead, He breathes on it and gently fans it back to life. I've read the verse, and so have you, "In the world you will have tribulation . . ." That's just the way it is. It's true for those who know and love God; it's true for those who don't. The difference is, for those who know Christ, we don't walk alone. He joins us on the journey, and He's there for the long haul.
These are the times that make us strong. I'm not saying I like the system, but I do know that suffering is one of the most effective tools the Lord to mold us into His image. There have been a few verses that keep coming to my mind as we have trekked through this awful time of testing:
I Peter 5:6,7 (KJV) "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you."
Job 13:15a (KJV) "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him . . ."
Habakkuk 3:17-20 (Amplified) "Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation. The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds' feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]! . . ."
I don't know what the end result will be. Some of our difficulties are of our own making. Those I have confessed to the Lord and asked His forgiveness. Some are the result of a decline in the economy. Those I can't do much about. But this is what I wanted to say - whatever the outcome I will do what I know I must do - I will trust God. I will trust Him because I believe that He has a plan. I will trust Him because He has never failed me. I will trust Him because I know He loves me. I will trust Him because His word is true. I will trust Him because He is God. I will trust Him because He is real. I will trust Him because, for me, there is no other way.
Love, Ronda (Knuth)
"Although the grief that you carry remains with you forever,
ideally it will become a part of - rather than all of - your life."
Theresa Huntley, When Your Child Dies
Copyright © 2004rjknuth