Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The winds of adversity

“How was your ride, honey?” he wanted to know.

Well, it was good: I’ve ridden further today than I have this year and I made good time. I was happy with that but it was a tough ride into a head wind all the way back. Forget the fact that it is harder to ride into the wind (resistance). What bothered me was the wind howling in my ears and causing me to be unable to hear much else of what was going on around me.

Considering the fairly narrow road with no shoulder, a speed limit of 55mph (roughly 90km/hr) and both cars
and 18-wheeler trucks alike making use of this road – trust me - you want to be able to hear.

Caught somewhere between being out of breath and the balancing act of sticking to the white line – not veering into traffic or falling into the ditch – I heard the Lord speaking to me.

Recently in going through some difficult times I’ve been asking the Lord, ““Why don’t you speak to me in times when I so desperately need to hear from you; when I need your direction, comfort and encouragement – to be reassured that everything is going to be ok?” I mean, isn’t tough times precisely when we need to hear from Him? Instead I’ve been feeling as if He has been ‘stand-offish’ and just watching me struggling. It’s been causing me to feel very frustrated and at times even angry or rebellious… “Well then, if you won’t help me…!” (How many of you recognize the lie of the devil right there?)

With the wind howling in my ears this morning I was desperately trying to hear any traffic and I realized that so also my ears have been filled with the noise of adversity to the point where I’ve been unable to hear the Lord’s voice. I’ve been unable to hear the hope of an oncoming breakthrough, or the reminder that He loves me just the way I am or His calling me to cast my care. I’ve got so caught up in trying to figure it out, or helping myself, or fixing the situation that I got myself into that I’ve not been listening. Maybe I’ve been asking Him but I’ve not been listening to Him.

Hmm… one could get hit by a truck that way or fall into a ditch. You could easily end up getting so stressed out that you lose your balance and do things to make matters worse for yourself (i.e. get hit by a truck), or you could fall down in a ditch of discouragement and despair and be paralyzed with fear and hopelessness. I’m sure no one wants that; I know I don’t.

Probably the most prominent way that God speaks to us is through His Word – the sword of the Spirit in the armour of God. (For a moment there I imagined myself cycling in armour just like the knights in medieval times. Funny ;) Luckily that is not quite how it works today.)

So what does God’s Word say? He says that the sheep knows the voice of the Shepherd (John 10:4). Is He my Shepherd? Is He yours? He says that those who diligently seek Him will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). Have I been diligently seeking Him? And if we seek Him He promises to direct our path (Proverbs 3:6) and to lead us by peaceful streams (Psalms 23:2).

In times when we feel overwhelmed the Word of God is where we need to focus rather than the howling of adversity in our ears. That is when we need to remind ourselves of who God is and who He says we are in Him. That is where we find out whether we need to repent, believe or, having done all, to stand.

Adversity is a sure thing in life – not if but whenbut they that know their God shall be strong!

...I’d better be off then. I have some seeking to do...


Nathaniel Smickle said...

I used to be in the same predicament very recently, a few of the things are better from what they were but in totality- all is the same.

So then, what of me in this circumstance is different? My perspective and attitude towards it. We all know we live only once and we instead focus on how we feel we deserve to live as opposed to the simple notion that we are living.

Adversity.. what's the point of it right? To prove a strength that He's seen of one that has yet to be of comprehension, ok. But what if I don't want to be that strong and endure these difficult tests one after another. Is it so discouraging to just want to be as I am and live in prosperity?

Questions like these disturb the very essence of perfection. We must earn the right to our freedoms, our passions and govern ourselves as deserving children of God. But what good does that do if it's said to someone who is on the verge of quitting?

Sometimes you have to look past yourself. I'm not saying look onto others and compare your situation with a lesser one. I'm saying look at God's design, His natural order and enjoy it. Why quit when life itself has yet to quit on you. Why prefer not to face adversity and receive prosperity as we are, isn't that God working for us as opposed to us working for God?

We're apart of a royal inheritance, a kingdom. Associate it with what you have come to know of kingdoms: Castles, Kings and Queens and put a heavenly thought towards it - you belong to that!

I dislike adversity for the sake of suffering, but I have come to accept it as it were a coach who "tests" the most promising athlete to the point of frustration until they do reach that scope of victory and performance. He's stood you out among the crowd because He believes solely in you and the potential He has created for you. He knows you better than you and has decided you'd better not be off as you are but as the refinement He lovingly puts you through.

Keep the belief that God has a plan for your life, that He has selected you among brethren to receive an honorable role in His eternal mapping and graceful discoveries. You are yet still, an important vessel belonging to God. Cherished and loved- even by strangers of kind.

Don't give up. Smile. Praise. Sing. Dance and worship! Build on your greater values during this time. Distract the negative with Positive as best you can. And by the end of what you survived, you'll have as much right to proclaim: I made it. God Bless.

Liane said...

I heard someone say once that God loves you just as you are, but He loves you too much to leave you the same.

Maybe the hardest part is when we want to understand that which might always only be known to an all-knowing God. I think I might very well have reasoned myself into a corner, but maybe as I set that aside and things become more simple I'll see the light of day again.

He always has our best interest at heart. For now I just have to trust that He knows what He's doing and obey as He leads. In the end He is more than able to work all things together for good! Thank God, He is still in control and I'm in capable Hands :)

Cindy said...

It seems your cycling provides you with valuable meditative material, Lee. xxx

Liane said...

O-o-o-h YES, Cin! It is way more than just a bike for me. I've just about started thinking about changing my site's name considering how many things I realize/learn from things with wheels :) I'm just getting ready for my morning ride again ;)