August 26, 2011

Salvation Comes

What if everything that happened was for a distinct and directed purpose?

What if that intense pain, that bleeding heartbreak, those words that cut like a knife were meant to strengthen, empower and embolden?  Is that possible?

What if the very situation that is the pinnacle of hurt, the thing you most dislike speaking about, the most degrading and humiliating position you have found yourself, was the very thing that gave you the ability, wisdom and words to help someone else?

What if the unspeakable, unimaginable turn of events that made your life absolutely miserable was the only experience that could help another soul that had walked the same path?

Hard to think about, isn't it?

If I believe that the LORD is in control of everything, that He is truly sovereign in all things, then I have to affirm that the very thing that I begged to be taken from me was allowed and purposed for good. For if I had not been judged unjustly, my character assassinated mercilessly, my name slandered even still, then I would not be able to understand the pain of another who has endured the same.  And how in the world can we bear anothers burden if we cannot understand what they have been through?

I prayed diligently, fervently, that hearts would change; that situations would turn, that grace and mercy be shown, all to no avail.  I begged and pleaded.  I cried out to the LORD until I thought there was no more tears to be shed (which wasn't true, by the way).  I was hard pressed to fathom why in the world the LORD would wish for me to walk such a long, arduous and oh so difficult road.

But now I think I know.

I was praying against the very will of the LORD.  I was asking that He take away the very thing that would eventually bring healing and help to someone else.  I didn't know it at the time, of course, but in my selfishness I was asking the LORD to deny comfort, understanding and validation for another hurting soul.  How could I be so self-focused and short-sighted?

It is better, easier, to think we know why hard things happen, isn't it?  It just doesn't seem acceptable to have things left unrighteous and unresolved. Hard feelings, harsh words and cruel behavior leave a sour taste in our mouths, and lives, even more so if there seems to be no purpose or meaning.

So, I continued to pray.  And thankfully, mercifully, He did not answer the way I desired, but He did answer...in His time.  I think you have heard this answer before.

It's not about me.

It's about serving others.  It's about serving others so the LORD's character, His comfort, His love can be shown through us.  Stay with me here...I went through hell so I can minister to someone else...someone already chosen, designated to receive the compassion and care bestowed upon me the only way it could be - by going through it myself.  I went through an absolute nightmare to facilitate healing for someone else.  And, what's more, they didn't even know it.  Yes...that was His divine plan the entire time.

Have you walked through hell?  Have you endured so much pain that you considered ending it all?  Have you thrown yourself down to the ground, begged for mercy from the Almighty only to hear the deafening silence? Are you there now?  Hold on, my friend...just hold on.  Salvation comes, and it looks like perseverance and wisdom.  It looks like experience and compassion.  It looks like empathy and sympathy...and love. It looks like a late night phone call to pull you out of the mucky mire of a pit.  It looks like one standing beside you in the chemo infusion room while you have another emotional breakdown.  And yes, it even looks like unexpected words of affirmation coming by way of a text message. It looks like a dear friend handing you yet another tissue because the tears won't stop...and a thousand different scenarios of reaching out and giving for healing, for comfort.  And that salvation is possible because of knowing what it means to be there, feeling the pain and reliving the full spectrum of flooding emotions.  So many times, the answer to our desperate prayer, "O LORD, save me!" comes in the form of those who have lived through it themselves.


Oh yes, salvation comes.  And, you know what else I know?  I know that the LORD orchestrates things perfectly.  I am amazed that the one whom the LORD has chosen to bring into my life to facilitate healing is the very one that I am best positioned to edify and minister to, as well.  Think about it; if we endure pain in order to understand and have compassion for others who have walked the same, then it would only be right and expected that past hurts and pain will be examined and relived, but this time for healing.  Just as a teacher learns the subject matter they are teaching more deeply when they impart it to their students, it is also true for the one who ministers to another. Taking hold of anothers hand and walking through shared pain is validating and healing for both parties, I'm absolutely convinced.

What an honor to be chosen to minister to another person in a way few can. For every situation, for each soul that cries out for mercy and relief, there must be one who can best minister to that hurt, that confusion, that profuse bleeding and desperation. One who has been specifically prepared and tutored to be the friend who holds out their hand in love and compassion to facilitate that healing and comfort we are all seeking in a time of great need.  And it leaves me with one response, the only response, to an all-loving, all-knowing G-d who cares for us enough to send His love through a perfectly prepared, living, breathing soul:  Praise to the Most High G-d, blessed is He and He is blessed!

And we know that for those who love G-d all things work together for good, 
for those who are called according to his purpose. 
~Romans 8:28


4 comments:

Ari C'rona said...

Amein and amein! I am so very, very grateful to our Great G-d! :o)

Mama Cache said...

You know I'm sitting here nodding. Am I being absolutely obscure to call this an "Ebenezer" post? Where you are right now is so clearly expressed in your words. Just beautiful, Liz.

Hendel D'bu said...

Ebenezer: A memorial established in remembrance of what God has done for a person or group of people.

No, not obscure at all, my friend :-)

Ari C'rona said...

Oh, man, this is so awesome I have to comment again! Yes, it's been hell the last 3 years, especially the last 11 months - absolute hell. I'm just now realizing how awful it's been as I work through my own healing. If I can help anyone at all with my experience, I say that it was worth it.

I know I've said it many times before, but I'll say again that I am honored to have walked beside you through all of it, my dearest of friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this tonight. I love you.

Thank You, my Master, for allowing me the privilege of it all...