Journal Entry ~ 10/16/17

13 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart.  - Psalm 107:13-14

It’s difficult to spend a few days in a passage that forces us to look at the prison walls we build around us, and the chains we shackle to ourselves. We don’t want to own that something so dark has control over us, and we risk slipping into a pit spending that much time in darkness. But it is only in the looking and reflecting that we can finally break free. It’s important to look. 

Having just struggled through a weekend of challenging chemo symptoms, both physically and emotionally, the passage seemed to capture my very real struggle. I felt like I was in prison.  When we’re caught in the struggle, it can feel long and deep, as if the pit is bottomless. We have to be careful when we’re in such a dark place to keep pushing through, to keep looking for the light, to keep reading - there’s more to this passage than just the prison. While it is important we allow ourselves to look into the dark recesses of our prisons, it is just as important that we don’t stay there.  Check your perspective. 

In the moments of heartache we face, our trials can seem like the greatest crisis we have ever known. But the reality is while life may throw all kinds of challenging circumstances and heartbreaking situations at us, none of them compare to the greatest crisis we will ever face - eternal separation from Christ. Anything we are walking through today is but a blip in the grand scheme of eternity. Until Christ was sent to rescue us, we were condemned to an eternity separated from Him. This is our greatest crisis. But God - who loves us with an unending love, poured out grace and mercy on our broken lives, and He chose to save us.  He chose to save us from an eternity in hell, and made us alive together with Christ simply because He loves us. Pause a moment and think about that - because He loves you. If He loves you that much - to save you from the greatest crisis you will ever face, don't you have enough faith to believe He will rescue you from the trials you face today?  That's not to say what you are facing today isn't difficult - I'm walking through a very deep valley right now. Life is hard, and the trials can overwhelm us if we let them. But I keep coming back to this truth to put my trial in perspective. When we're at the bottom of a valley, it can seem deep and unending - our perspective only allows us to see what's around us, and we have no idea how deep or how long the valley truly is. When we change our perspective to an aerial view, we can not only see the size and depth of the valley, but we can see the multitude of mountains and valleys in our lives.  When I take an eternal perspective in my trial, it changes my view. I know God knows what I'm walking through, I know that He loves me, and I know that this is a momentary affliction in the landscape of my eternal life with Him. 

There’s more to this passage than just the prison, so don’t stay there. When they cried out to Him, He delivered them from their prisons.  He broke their chains and He rescued them from their bondage. When He reveals your chains to you, the enemy will want to keep your eyes focused on your struggle in an effort to keep you in that prison forever.  Be very careful the guilt doesn’t keep you there. You don’t have to stay in prison.  Get up and walk out.  God has already forgiven you for the reasons you snapped those chains on your legs, and He wants you to experience the freedom of walking in the light. Just as those in this passage, God wants us to get to the place where we are thanking Him for His steadfast love, for His pursuit of our hearts. We should be dancing in the light of His love. If you’re not, let go of the chains, and walk toward the door. 

I was so happy to wake up to sunshine this morning and a few more hours of sleep than I’ve had in the past several nights. This roller coaster can be challenging, but it does help me appreciate the light He offers in the depth of a pit. He will continue to pursue us with His steadfast love, He will continue to show us the way, He will continue to shine His light, we have to choose to look for it and take it when we see it. When we keep that eternal perspective on our struggle, and we remind ourselves that this is all temporary, we are better able to see His light and feel His steadfast love in the midst of our trials and chains. 

Press on, ladies ~ you are loved 💗


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