Don’t get me wrong…my sackcloth is still on.
But I am emerging, and I don’t smell like smoke.
I can feel it deep down in that place that defies understanding. You know that place that transcends “The Voice” which keeps trying to butt into your consciousness telling you that this time God is going to take you all the way down to the bottom?
“Start checking out that place in the park to set up camp,” it says.
“Where will you put your stuff?”
“Where will you see your clients?”
Oh, our enemy is such a liar and how he relishes seeing us squirm while he continues to surround us with fearful words. All he has is words, though. If we don’t agree with them and speak them then he has nothing.
But not so with God.
That place where God is, deep in my spirit, His temple, there is peace.
I know some people think we are crazy. But there are always people who are going to judge you from what they see without walking in your shoes. I am used to it and it doesn’t’ bother me anymore. Job’s best friends had all the answers, bless their hearts. Those guys were trying to help the best way they knew how, in all of their religiosity. At least I believe they were. They thought they had to talk; To speak for God and figure it out for Job.
Sometimes it is just best to be silent and pray.
And hold a hand or smile.
And maybe say something funny to break the heaviness.
Our trial continues. We are down to the wire in days while we continue to wait. Greg is still in the desert. He has immersed himself in the mire and is sitting there in his dry place waiting to hear from God. Yet, his faith seems to be growing.
We are all in now. This is the make or break part with Jesus in the center. We choose to trust and not die. This fiery trial stuff is not for the faint hearted.
No one enjoys being tried. Based on feeling alone, it actually feels like you are going down and it stinks to be honest with you. It is painful, disorienting and confusing. We stumble along and try to figure out what in the world God is doing. We feel stuck and broken, like we can’t move forward.
God’s purpose in suffering is “that the genuineness of [our] faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
God does not ordain trials to set us up for failure but to prove the reality of our faith in a way similar to the process of purifying metals, our faith being more precious than gold itself, which is perishable.
And you know what? I would never learn of His absolute faithfulness without having learned it firsthand; the hard way. This is the way of faith, believing what I can’t see, having nothing to fall back on but Him. The fire reveals stuff in us that we would never be faced with if we weren’t tested. Oh, how I hate having to look at my own stuff!!
There are a host of friends and loved ones out there facing your own private deserts and you feel as if it will never end. I say to you to please hold on. Your God will not forsake you. It may feel like it at times, but I can assure you He will not.
He is the Grand Potter. I am the clay.
He must increase in me and I must decrease.
The picture here is of a goldsmith who puts his crude gold ore in a crucible, subjects it to intense heat, and thus liquefies the mass. The impurities rise to the surface and are skimmed off. When the worker is able to see the reflection of his face clearly mirrored in the surface of the liquid, he takes it off the fire, for he knows that the contents are pure gold.
I want to shine so brightly that when He looks at me He sees His own reflection.
In my private journaling to Him last week, this is what He said.
“Dixie, I love you with an everlasting and steady love that NEVER changes. Have I ever let you down My Princess? Have I ever abandoned you? I know sometimes it feels like it, but I have not. I have chosen this wilderness for you and it will be over soon for both of your sakes. Greg will leave the desert with eyes open and revelation he would not have had without the fire bringing him to a place of total surrender.
Stay with me.
Delight in Me.
Continue to move forward in your faith steps to do what I have called you to do. You will see.”