Here we were, the two of us, seasoned travelers along this journey of faith, who have weathered many storms between our collection of moments. Our paths crossed without the slightest bit of planning, but it was evident God had appointed us to become friends. Neither of us aware of what lurked over our horizons, we opened our heart’s door and welcomed the sharing.
Although our storms were very different, each had been raging for the span of two years, bringing unspeakable tragedy and circumstances beyond our control, leaving us weary and battle worn. They arose with the same vengeance, threatening to destroy all we knew to be true and good. Out of hiding appeared unwelcome stowaways, leaches eager to drain us of the life giving blood our souls had been strengthened in through our living.
Questioning was the first to intrude, casting unfamiliar shadows in the murky, unattended spaces of our minds where truth had not yet made a home. For those places truth resided, questioning pounded relentlessly with, “Why? and “How?” Truth became weary and shaken. Slowly the murky spaces grew to make room for the great planting.
Doubt wasted no time in multiplying. Its roots dug deep, fighting for recognition. Soon what the mind knew to be good was trampled until all that remained was a glimpse, easily withered and forgotten. The stalks grew tall and strong, protecting the darkness and pushing through any glimmer of light.
Fear moved in for the kill, casting out any final peace or assurance. Its thorny vines wrapped and squeezed the heart, until a throbbing pained the soul. Breathing struggled to find a rhythm and labored beneath the attack. The great weakening had begun. It would only be a matter of time before the battle against faith would be won.
We shared the tired wrestlings of our hearts. No judgment was passed, and all shame was cast down before it could grab a foothold on what was left of our burdened hearts. It was all part of the sharpening. Two kindred spirits brought together, lightening the load and sharpening each other’s faith in the dulled places. We were sisters in this journey, this battle and with each pass through the millstone, we agreed, “This is not all there is!”
Remembering became a pleasant place for us to rest awhile over hot tea and warm soup. We shared the sprinklings of grace which had managed to sustain a glimmer of joy over the past two years. Drippings of mercy through our moments of questioning, doubt and fear rose to the surface of our remembering. Love had been there all along.
Like the instant flash of light, it appeared; a sudden realization!
Our wrestling was not with God……. but with the enemy of our souls.
Why were we so prone in spite of all remembering to allow the enemy to destroy what God had planted?
Love broke through. Pure. Everlasting. Perfect!
In the bursting forth, its radiance exposed the enemy within. Questioning was silenced. Doubt withdrew. Fear was cast out.
Oh perfect love!
It is broad enough to strengthen these weary souls. It is mighty enough to break open the wellsprings of thanksgiving as we journey through our storms. It is rich enough to grow joy through the soil of pain. It is perfect enough to refine our hearts for seeing beyond the storm, to see the truth, that this is not all there is!
It is more than enough!
“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” I John 4:18 (NIV)