I've been struggling. I've been struggling with grief, exhaustion, and apathy. I haven't wanted to clean the house, get dressed, or read my Bible for the last few days. I was just So tired! I've heard enough from "experts" to know that this was possibly a side-affect of depression. Obviously losing my mom has been hard on me and then a few other things have been getting me down lately. But today I wanted to just forget all that. I wanted so badly to see past my struggles and I just be in awe of my God. Today I prayed that God would get me revved up about Him once again. I wanted Him to show me something that would get me on my knees and praising His awesome name... and as always my God answered my prayer!
The second verse that I looked at today from my devotional was 1 Peter 2:21
This suffering is all part of what God has called you to. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in His steps. (NLT)
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. (NKJV)
After I read this I sighed, grinned and then said, "Perfect!"
Oh how I needed this verse! Some may look at it and think, "Um God is calling you to suffer? That is not fun or cool!" But you know, all that I have gone through in the past month has changed me for the better. We do not suffer because God got bored one day and thought it would be fun to see some of us squirm. No, we suffer so that we may grow closer to Him and learn to become more like Christ. And what an amazing transformation it is!!! Instead of seeing cruelty in this verse I saw God saying, "Abbey, dear one, this trial that you are going through is all apart of my plan! I know what is happening to you both on the outside and on the inside! I am here for you! Draw nearer to me and learn from your hardship." As Romans 5:3-5 says, we rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance. Endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not put us to shame; "because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Through this hard time I will cling to my heavenly father! Though these struggles on earth are hard and sometimes painful I know that they can't even begin to compare to the Joy that I will have in heaven! (Romans 8:18)
The next part of 1 Peter 2: 21 says that Jesus Christ is our example when it comes to suffering and that we should follow in his steps. Obviously we know that Jesus was perfect and that he suffered a lot. But as I read that I thought to myself, "ok what exactly does that mean?" and it was as if God said, "I'm glad you asked honey!"
1 Peter 2: 23 He did not retaliate when He was insulted. When He suffered, He did not threaten to get even. He left His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.
Wow Jesus really is the perfect example! :) And He leaves His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly! My soul just perks up to those words and says, "ABBEY!!! God wants you to give Him your burdens! He will deal with those that have hurt you, and He will hold onto your heart during that hurt! You're not in this alone! WOOT WOOT!" God's word is full of promises and explanations! I praise God for who He is and what He has done for me, for us! I am not left in the dark wondering how to deal with this pain or wondering who I can turn to. Clearly God is not silent when His children are hurting! Just look at what He showed me today while I wallowed in self pity! God is willing to show you His grace and power if you but look :) :) This wasn't a coincidence people!!
This is a quote from "Jesus Calling" that I just so happen to read today of all days:
"I see straight through you, into the depths of your being. There is no place for pretense in your relationship with Me. REJOICE in the relief of being fully understood. Talk with Me about your struggles and feelings of inadequacy.... Remember that your relationship with Me is saturated in grace."
No words can describe how God makes me feel. He cuts straight to the matter of my heart and reaches out to me through His word. God is alive and in me. I don't have to go through this life alone :)
Thank you sweet Father for hearing my prayers and for answering them! Thank you for blessing me with your presence, for never leaving me. Jesus you are the same yesterday, today, and forever! In you I can put all of my trust because you will never suddenly change or leave. You are my rock dear God. Thank you for holding onto my heart and for all the plans you have for my life. You are more awesome than we know!
I pray that you all have a blessed week and that God works in your heart!