When God says no

Whenever my birthday rolls around my sweet friend Kelli always asks, “What was the pit and the peak of your year.”  Its a great question because too often we can focus on one or the other and get life out of perspective.

I wrote my last post coming off a summer of summits.  This post was written a few weeks back while I was in the pit of my year. While I hesitate to share something so personal, I feel that its only fair that you see the complete person, struggles and successes.

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A couple of months ago,  life hit Andy and I with something completely unexpected, unanticipated and out of our control.   We had spent the summer hitting all our summits, life was good and there was nothing we couldn’t accomplish.  But when this struck, we went from feeling like we were on top of the world to being knocked down to our knees.

For the better part of a week, we begged God to take make it better, to take away the trial, to do a miracle like only He could do.  But in a moment when time seemed to stand still He said no and our world stood still.

dsc03965-001The problem was that time did not stop.  I was scheduled to boarded a plane to Southeast Asia just nine days later, without Andy, for a backpacking trip through the Himalayas.  I was going  to tell people about the God of love.  The God who had just told me no.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Somehow I was able to tough it out during the trip–it was a rough week but I pushed my emotions down and by God’s grace and with the help of my amazing team, I was able to make it through the week.  But instead of feeling engaging with the incredible people and sights I was encountering, I was struggling to make it through each day. God was able to work through this trip and bring forth fruits, despite my brokenness.

dsc04000-001With an experience like this, the emotions wait for you and now that life has gotten back to a normal rhythm, the pain is still there.  All the grief, tears and emptiness have come back to remind me of the time God refused to answer my most desperate pleas.

So what do you do when God says no?  How do you read the Bible when all the words seem empty and lifeless?  When really, all you want to do is sit on the couch, eat ice cream and scroll through some mindless Facebook posts?  These have been the questions circling around my mind.

This I call to mind  and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  

dsc04081-001This verse is like cool water for my thirsty soul.  It’s a reminder that I can stand on is the faithfulness I have seen God show in times past.  I cannot see His kindness in this moment, but I know that He is kind.  I cannot see His mercy, but I know He is merciful.

I don’t know why He has put me in this situation but I can look back over all the hard times in my life and see how He has carefully woven them together for my good.  And over and over I remind myself of the truth I have learned through many a storm: knowing Jesus is better than anything else in this life.

And then I whisper, “Lord, help that to be true.”

 

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