I have joy. My struggles and the ache in my heart are real; but my joy is not swayed by emotions, it is not shaken by seasons of affliction. My joy rests in the giver of life, my rock and my salvation.
I have peace in His will, peace that He Himself has given me. He’s teaching me to love His glory more than life. That’s why there is an abundance of beauty on these tear stained pages; He is breaking me of my will and giving me a heart that longs after Him.
For several days now I’ve been trying to articulate the joy that has been given to me through suffering, through waiting on the Lord; words have been failing me, and then I read the following in a book that my mother gave me recently:
“I am amazed at the power that comes to us through suffering; we are worth nothing without the cross. Of course, I tremble and agonize while it lasts, and all my words about the beneficial effects of suffering vanish under torture. But when it is all over, I look back on the experience with deep appreciation, and am ashamed that I bore it with so much bitterness…The faithful Giver of every good gift distributes them to each of us with His own hand. Blessed be His name! Every cross He gives us is for our profit!” –Fenelon
He crushes us to give us life. Life in abundance (John 10), life everlasting.
Through tears I confessed to my mother last week that I wanted my struggles to mean more, more than just being drawn nearer to my Savior. My dear friends, there is absolutely nothing more that I can ask for than to be drawn nearer to my Lord. Nothing. My King requires nothing less than all of me and He will have just that, no matter what it takes, no matter what the cost. And I’ll praise Him for it.