Monday, August 19, 2013

Do You Feel Stretched to the Breaking Point?

Dear Reader,

Today's post is from a pastor who was once a widower--he knows what it's like. Part of the way he cares for his church and family is to send out daily e-mails of encouragement and exhortation, which I'm fortunate enough to receive, too. I'd like to share this one with you:

"Have you ever gotten to the point where God has seemingly stretched you to your breaking point? The last couple of days have seemed that way to me. It causes one to wonder what God is doing…or if He is really there at all…or if He is, maybe He doesn’t care. Of course those are the questions of a forgetful heart. God does know what He’s doing…He’s always there…and He does care. In fact, He puts us through the “stretch” because He DOES know what we need and He DOES have a plan and CARES for us.

“A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, but our Lord continues to stretch and strain, and every once in awhile the saint says, “I can’t take any more.” Yet God pays no attention; He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight, and then He lets the arrow fly. Entrust yourself to God’s hands.” (from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers).

When we’re going through the “stretch” we need someone to remind us that God’s ways are often not readily understood at the moment of the “stretch.” Sometimes He allows us to see His purposes in retrospect. Sometimes we won’t completely understand until we no longer see through a glass dimly and see Jesus face to face. Then He will make sense of our lives and the “stretching” times.

Until then, Chambers gives us sound advice: “Is there something in your life for which you need perseverance right now? Maintain your intimate relationship with Jesus Christ through the perseverance of faith. Proclaim as Job did, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” ( Job 13:15 ). Faith is not some weak and pitiful emotion, but is strong and vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. And even though you cannot see Him right now and cannot understand what He is doing, you know Him. Disaster occurs in your life when you lack the mental composure that comes from establishing yourself on the eternal truth that God is holy love.”

My prayer today is that we all learn to trust in God’s sovereign plan and purpose for our lives no matter what. I’ll be praying for you…you pray for me."

Pastor Dean

4 comments:

  1. On behalf of poor old Job / I do believe he did reach a breaking point,(many times) he even cursed the day of his birth and wished he had never been born.
    Scriptures tells us his grief was so great that his friends would not even talk with him for seven days.
    Yes Job was tried, pressed beyond all measure, more than anyone of us will probably ever have to endure in this life.
    But the one thing I learned from Job was that he never charged God foolishly and he will probably receive a great reward and a crown of endurance.

    His faith was tested to the ultimate. In my perception in the study of Job, he was a tad self-righteous and overly pious - but he did reach a breaking point and like many of us he didn't want to get back up during this crisis of life.

    Job was like a man who had lost his way, there were times he had no hope of better days (as many of us do) no hope of better times, he was unwilling to live. Scriptures also tell us the end days of Job's life were better than the beginning days.

    The Blessing in Job was -
    FAITH.
    Job's faith was the anchor of his soul, when the storms were raging terribly, and admist the greatest of his suffering it could not kill or destroy his faith, but did steal his joy.
    Job would not allow his feelings to rule his faith. (a lesson I need)

    We all live under the same providence and the same God as Job did and we learn that life to a child of God is not without trials.

    Job knew he could not go back; it is then(by faith)with grace enabling- we go forward, one step at a time, one breath at a time.

    Many times I tremble on the Rock
    But the Rock never trembles under me.

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  2. Very beautifully said, Anonymous! I was just thinking about Job, and your comments were very insightful and helpful. hugs to you.

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  3. This is a great post, Ferree! I love the imagery that God is stretching us like an archer until He is ready to let the arrow - us - fly. Thanks for sharing Pastor Dean's words with us!

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  4. When I look at all the "unknowns" and "uncertainties" and am bewildered about what to do (or what not to do), I have found wonderful comfort in this delightful rendition of Isaiah 42:16 in the Message:

    "But I'll take the hand of those who don't know the way,
    who can't see where they are going.

    I'll be a personal guide to them,
    directing them through unknown country.

    I'll be right there to show them what roads to take,
    make sure they don't fall into the ditch.

    These are the things I'll be doing for them--
    sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute."

    Oh, the beautiful tenderness and intimate care of our loving God!

    His Word gives me such hope. He really does show us His goodness in the land of the living.

    God bless you, Ferree. This is such a sweet and encouraging oasis for those of us who have experienced sorrow.

    Honey Bee

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