Bob and I enter into a hard season each fall. Two years ago in the space of 2 weeks, Bob and I lost 3 people who we loved. We had witnessed each one of them travel the dark nights of the soul losing their way before they each discovered that when the night is darkest, the stars shine brightest. Their journeys were long and treacherous and without hope for periods of time, but God….
We celebrated each one’s success in claiming the joy of God, which they found by continuing to see Him when they doubted He existed. They each persevered, even when the ones they loved doubted.
This fall brings another family we hold close to our hearts facing unreasonable fears. Just when one discovers that the cure has not held and the options are very few, another member discovers that they are facing a similar journey through treatment.
It is at times like this that I marvel at their tenacity, and courage and their hope. They are clinging to the hope of their God.
But I still ask…knowing the answer but the question still comes out of my heart…”how much more can one family stand before crumbling, Lord?”
How much more can they carry the burdens life has given them?
1 Peter 4:13 was my answer….
“When life gets really difficult don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job.
Instead be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ suffered and experienced. This is a spiritual refining process with glory just around the corner.”
Each of us have a hard life. As Lysa TerKeurst explains in her book “It’s Not Suppose To Be This Way”, we are living in an imperfect garden, bookended by the Perfect Garden of Eden and the New Kingdom of Heaven. We are working our way through, being refined daily.
A refiner of gold heats the metal and skims off the dross, the imperfections that rise to the surface. The refiner has to keep a constant watch to see the exact moment the gold is refined. If he turns his back and misses the moment, the gold is ruined. How does he know when the gold is refined? It is when he looks on the surface and can see the image of his face reflected in the pure gold.
“This is a refining process with glory just around the corner.”
We tend to forget with our problems and worries and calamities and disasters and fears and hardships and hard lives…glory is just around the corner.
I discovered after Robby died that heaven came so much closer to earth, now that I had given a part of me to be there. And now after almost 14 years, heaven is populated with my loves and sometimes I think of how wonderful it will be to stand among all those who have gotten there before me, but life happens and dulls my focus and I forget to remember…glory is just around the corner.
When I first held my three grandchildren, I told each of them the same thing…”I would know you any where; your face is the reflection of your Abba Father’s face, the last face you saw.” The Refiner looked onto the brightly minted face of a new human and saw His reflection, gave them a final kiss and they were born…and glory was just around the corner.
Lord, keep me in the refiner’s fire, temper me, mold me, clean me up, until Your reflection is seen in my heart because…glory is just around the corner.