I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Part two.

Since I talked about the SUFFERING, now what? What about when the suffering doesn't stop? I had already told myself back in December that 2009 would be such an WONDERFUL YEAR. It had to be, right? I mean, after all the junk, the heartache, the sorrow......SURELY God will show mercy and let me have some happy times in 2009!! RIGHT?!?! Well.......not so much. In fact, MANY things have fallen apart since New Year's Eve. Not just with my family, but with many dear, dear friends of mine. WHY!?!?! "But God, I thought.....I thought THIS year would FINALLY be happy!?!?!?"

So, WHAT NOW? Prolonged suffering. And Waiting. Waiting for Him to deliver me. What do I do in the meantime? What if the suffering lasts many more months......what if (GULP).....my life is FULL of deep sorrow and grief until my very days here are over? Hard pill to swallow, that's what I've been thinking about. HOPEFULLY, that will not be the case. HOPEFULLY, I will get to BE IN the Promised Land, and not just SEE IT. That is my hope, but there is NOT a person who can answer that, only the LORD knows. So, I've been asking myself. "Jessica, WHAT IF this is to be the story of your life?". And you know what, yesterday I got a little piece, not the whole picture, but a little piece of hope. A little piece of what to do, you know, in case "WHAT IF" turned into a reality.

All my life I have been told of the LORD's lovingkindesses. How they never cease, they're new every morning. Lamentations tells us of this, a huge picture of Hope. We even have songs about it..."Great is Thy faithfulness....Morning by morning, new mercies I see...". (For me, lately I've been singing it "mourning by mourning".) Did you know the English language doesn't have an equivalent for that Hebrew word? His "lovingkindness" in Hebrew is such a good word, a loving word about God, we didn't have a word to fully describe it, so we called it "lovingkindess". WOW. That's good stuff. I learned that in my college days. ;) Didnt know you'd learn something here, did you? Haha. Moving on.......so I'd been thinking about His lovingkindness.....and how I'd been waiting on Him, MY DELIVERER to show up....how I've been wanting to see some more of this lovingkindness. So, I opened up that Bible, and I went looking. And do you know what? I found something. Let me share. Please read this first, because I don't want you to miss it.......

"I am the man who has seen affliction Because of the rod of HIS wrath........He has broken my bones.......In dark places He has made me dwell.......Even when I cry out and call for help, He shuts out my prayer........He has turned aside my ways and torn me to pieces.......He made the arrows of His quiver to enter into my inward parts.......My soul has been rejected from peace, I have forgotten happiness. So I say, 'My strength has perished, and so has my hope from the LORD.' Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." -Lamentations 3:1-23NASB- (excerpts from)

Did you catch it? I never did until Sunday. I was able to find even more Hope to cling to when I did. For the writer, what brought hope? Did God come down and change all his circumstances? Did God audibly tell him He would "fix" everything? Did the brokenness change, did the suffering stop? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! But, we read, "This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease......". Nothing changed, there was no change in what was happening around. He remembered the Lord's lovingkindnesses. He remembered His compassions never failing. He remembered His faithfulness. And if you've read the rest of that chapter, we find even more hope. But YET, we're reminded of this...."Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?" -Lamentations 3:38NASB-

That was the shift in thinking for me, in hoping, in my "theology"....which, thanks to my old professors I learned our theology should always be changing and growing.....never stay where it is. You see, I was freed from that thinking that I can hope in Him and rejoice in Him and worship Him whenever He comes to deliver me. Because what IF he doesn't come in this life, for me? What if MY deliverance will be the end, when we're all reunited with Him? Like I said before, HOPEFULLY that will not be the case. But if so, I learned the other day to lift up my face, look ahead, yet still look back and remember. Remember the suffering, remember the sorrow and the grief, remember the dire circumtances God has placed me in.....yet alongside that, remember Him. I learned to remember that I can't change what's going on around me, but I can change me. (Please don't misread, there are times in one's life when SIN is the reason for the suffering, they need to repent and stop the sinning.....but sometimes the suffering has nothing to do with that. It just happens. Look at Job, and hellooooo, JESUS!!!) But I can let Him change me. I can look back and remember Him, my Hope. I have to hope in Him even when NOTHING AROUND ME HAS CHANGED. Because if I don't, sorrow wins. Death wins. Loneliness wins. Grief wins. But if I just remember, though all around is the same.......I know that CHRIST has already won. And THAT is HOPE.


Tiaras & Tantrums said...

I DO believe that we are in control of our own happiness to some degree. Yes, all the other"stuff" does tend to get in the way if we let it.

Rebecca said...

I'm happy to hear that four little word - HOPE. I've been praying for you friend!

P.S. I'm glad we got to talk the other night.

P.S.S. I'm back to feeling 100% again! Yay!!

krystle said...

that was awesome! thanks bffer:) you have to get on twitter!