10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and [a]have it abundantly.
A lot of you may know that right now, my life is a bit rocky. I don't have all the answers...and I don't know all the why's. I have been here before--where I had nothing BUT my faith to walk upon. This is not new territory to me. Given, after so much sadness, after so much loss, I was very weak in the beginning.
I spent weeks in tears. I spent days and days crying out to God, "WHY! How could you do this to me yet again? Have I not done all you have asked? When I thought, 'No, Lord, this is too much to ask of a person,' I still did all you asked. I dragged myself from slumber and I put my hand to the wheel every day. I kept my promises, I kept to my commitments to You and to others, Lord. How could you allow me to be here, where I cannot keep my commitment to two little ones...to my own kids, not due to my own choice? Why me, Lord?
I began to see myself as worthless. I believed that if I had value to God, others in my life who are supposed to represent the Lord would also see that value. But it was evident that I had no value in that way. I began to believe the voice that called out to me ...telling me I was without use.
Yet, in reality, God was IN control. He is still ON His throne, and if there is one thing I have learned, it is that the Bible is true. What do we read in God's word about the adversities of life? We read that the thief comes to steal and kill and destroy...Jesus came to give LIFE.
Therefore, we know from where adversity comes. We know death, divorce, hate, rape, cancer, these all come from the THIEF--from the author of lies. The one who tells us that in adversity we should run or give up. These come from the one who whispers to us "You are worthless. You are unforgivable." Our Savior comes to bring LIFE. He came to heal. He does not deal in destruction of any type. He deals in wholeness.
Anything that is destruction is of the enemy. Therefore, the hardships I endure and you endure, they are not of God. We need not question Him and ask "Why did you do this to me." For He did not.
However, He can carry us through. Adversity will come. It will come from within the family, within the church, from the world. God is not CAUSING the pain to come upon us. His tears fall when we are in pain. He wants to heal, and He CAN heal...but He will begin by healing YOU, in your soul.
So let's not shake our hand at God and say, "How can you do this to me?" Let's see the source of all things destructive, or that kill, or that destroy as coming from the thief, and his entire reason for existing is to steal our JOY.
Keep your joy in Christ. If you have Him within you, you will persevere through this adversity and you will do all you can to heal. Because that is the character of God, and if He is within you, that is what you will do. Persevere, as your Savior did. You will give until there is nothing left to give, laying down your life to let God shine through. So others will say, "How did she come through that? How did he forgive that person? How did that person overcome that habit?" The whole reason for our life is to take this adversity and to follow the Lord--so that others can see His miracles.
Miracles come through YOU allowing God to work through you. Through you not denying what you know the scriptures say you should do. The world says one thing, but God's word is always true.
Believe me, I know how hard it is to do what I am suggesting. But I have had to learn not to believe the lies of the deceiver. Do I falter? Yes. Have I had to do difficult things? Yes. I have had to do things to protect that I never wanted to do. That tore at my soul. But when asked to provide the truth, I had to provide the truth. I asked the Lord, "Please take this cup...please..." I groveled and begged at the foot of the cross. But God said, "I did not bring this, but you must do the loving thing, and you must do the hard things."
And in the end, I must love. Because my Savior first loved me. I must not deal in destruction, even if it looks pretty and comes in a pretty package, or if it is the easier thing, or costs me all I have. And I cannot blame God. I must place the blame where it BELONGS--with the thief.
"If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it." Gen 4:7.