I am pleased to share a guest post with you all today. This was written by my dear friend who is a missionary to Wales, UK. She shares her struggle over the past few months, and it is so encouraging how she exhorts us to "tighten the seatbelt" during these discouraging times.
I feel impressed to share my struggles and growth in faith in this update, as I have recently run into several precious brothers and sisters struggling much the same as I have been in the past couple of months. I have to admit that it is INCREDIBLY hard to write an ‘upbeat, encouraging’ update when one feels like the fires of battle are beginning to consume every semblance of spiritual life. We have all heard that we should live by faith and not by feelings. While that is true, one cannot negate the fact that ‘feelings’ are very real and overwhelming at times! My latest battle has lasted for about two or three months. I’d best describe it as an emotional roller coaster with so many twists and turns it’s nauseating. Could it be the colder weather? Darker days? Could be...but I seriously doubt it. Even though the season could play a part in the game (feelings, remember?), it is usually pretty easy to ‘see’ that for what it truly is...seasonal. No, I have to say that this has been on a much deeper level. There are days when the battle seemed so ferocious that the strength to push back the covers escaped me before the thought of getting up had finished crossing my mind.
Emotionally, it is hard to ‘be strong’ when one feels as brittle as a pine needle. I understand that the commandment to Joshua should apply to us (’Be strong and of a good courage...’ Josh. 1:8), and I also read the exhortation not to be weary...faint not....BUT HOW?? It is easy to say, but hard to do, is it not? I believe that God has helped me to learn a lesson of how to ‘tighten my seatbelt’ and hold on!
This ‘emotional rollercoaster’ is about as fun as it sounds. Yet, God has helped me to use the ‘seatbelt’ of His Promises to keep me stable when the momentum of the ride becomes overwhelming. Regrettably, I can’t point you to one ‘Super’ passage that has helped to sustain me during the hardest times. I found strength in His PROMISES- to KNOW that He is a God that CAN NOT lie; He is faithful to listen to my EVERY ‘complaint’ and to give ‘a word in season’ through a friend, preaching, or His Word; He is a Comforter that soothes the pain; He is the One Who has called us to Wales, and will keep us here by His grace. (I could go on and on!)
At times, it seems that all I can do is close my eyes to the things around me and focus on Christ. That is our exhortation in Romans, yet when I look at man’s depravity displayed on every hand, and seek to find a way to point them to Christ; when I see the ‘church’ and its present state of apathy and coldness; even when I look at loved ones and ‘wish’ for more spiritual growth, I find it hard to access that ‘single vision’ on Christ alone. How can you see our present day surroundings and NOT be affected? I have found that even Christ was moved emotionally as He looked over Jerusalem...but His PURPOSE wasn’t swayed by His emotions!
We hurt just as you do, and struggle with the same weaknesses. Yet, through the struggles, God has been teaching me to ‘tighten the seatbelt’ and trust HIM through the twists and turns of life. He is growing my faith...and faith isn’t grown much in the easy times or mountain –top experiences. I trust Him that He will bring me through this season, as He has in times past, and in the end I will look more like Jesus than ever!
To God be the Glory!
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