“Is this my lot in life? To forever have sorrow and pain as my companions? Will I never have the joy and peace promised me because of my husband’s sin?” My friend wept and I honestly didn’t know what to say to her. The man she trusted her heart to so many years prior seemed to actively choose the adulterous affair, even though he said he wanted to stop. I ached to reach through the phone and hold her while she cried, but could not. Miles separated us and I felt helpless to comfort her. “He doesn’t waste anything, love. You are not responsible for what your man has chosen, but God will use this to teach you things about yourself as well. I will continue to pray.” It was the best I could do and all I knew to be true at the moment.
And later, I thought of someone I mentor. She recently started a women’s ministry of her own. Frequently amazed, I listened over the course of a year to her stories and marveled at how they paralleled my own experiences just six years ago as I started Greater Impact. I have to admit, I still find it somewhat funny that I’m mentoring someone on ministry activity – I still don’t really know what I’m doing 🙂 and maybe never will! But our team is listening to Him, and He continues to show us each step of the way. Anyway, the recurring theme between my women friends and my own experience was this: aloneness. “It’s like God wants me to trust only Him, He’s taken every relationship that I seriously leaned on for support, encouragement, direction – and proven them untrustworthy,” my friend said to me one day. I remembered asking Him why He had done that very thing to me those years ago. Years later, with the difficulties resolved, I can clearly see what He accomplished – my full dependence upon Him. I wouldn’t do that on my own, so He helped me get it right. Just like my dear friend’s marriage and many others shared with me.
When I rose this morning, I did not find it surprising that these were the Scriptures He had for me:
“Whom have I in Heaven but You? And I have no delight or desire on earth beside You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the rock and firm strength of my heart, and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25-26 AMP)
“For Your mercy and loving-kindness are great and high as the heavens! Your truth and faithfulness reach to the skies!” (Psalm 108:4 AMP)
There were our experiences, right there in His Word, although my married friend had yet to receive completeness in Him. I frequently hear from wives around the US and Canada how they are “missionaries in their own homes,” and the above Words can encourage them from His Word in their ministry within their marriages. David, who most likely wrote those Scriptures, found himself frequently surrounded by people but felt alone. And he was the biggest whiner in Scripture. And God used him to share with us that there is NO ONE, here or in Heaven itself, who will delight and fill us up in the way our heart aches, other than our Lord, Jesus Christ. HE is our portion. Complete. In Him alone (pun intended), there IS more.
We waste time wanting human arms to comfort us, human words to affirm us, and human relationships to fill us up – they just can’t. And we can’t do that for others, try as we might. Yes, He uses us sometimes to bring those things, but if it is through humans only that we are capable of receiving His love, we need to travel further on the journey of sanctification. We don’t obey like He wants us to, and He knows we need to get to the point where we’re willing to try anything, even obeying Him on the harder things, like growing up and maturing on purpose, embracing our pain and seeking purpose in it… that whole “become like Jesus” thing. And because we won’t pursue Him naturally on our own, He allows pain and sorrow into our lives. They are the companions who teach. And the goal is for us to be able to see people the way He does, through the lens of the Holy Spirit (paying attention to whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy or excellent and think about those things, Phil 4:8), through the Eyes of Grace.
Dare you today to pursue relationship with the Father through the Son. Double-dog-dare you to confess you don’t know how to do this on your own and ask Him to help.
He’s faithful beyond compare, reaching to the skies.
And He’ll knock your socks off! Just give it time and learn at His pace for you. TRUST that He knows best.
Love to you,