There have been times this last week when the challenges of parenting compounded with physical weaknesses made it all seem just too hard, and discouragement creeps in. It seems silly to write it; I'm not gravely ill or suffering anything serious. It's just the moment-by-moment challenge of life currently.
My friend Laura recently shared the quote pictured above on her blog, The Blog Around the Corner. Laura is a friend that used to be part of our church here. She has fantastic style, a gift for hospitality, and a blog about decorating, food, and life. She is a wife and mama to two babies in heaven. She shares honestly on her blog about the suffering of losing her two babies.
This is the full quote from Andy Stanley: "You have no idea what or who hangs in the balance of your decision to remain faithful when everything around you says "Be faithless." You have no idea what God might be up to through your faithfulness when everything around you says, 'There's no point...”
In Joni Earekson Tada's book, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain and God's Sovereignty, is a chapter entitled "How can I go on like this?" One thing on her list is this:
"I can go on . . . because right now counts forever . . . Here on earth, we're being observed by both the sons and daughters of God (who need an example of how to face suffering) and by those who have not yet bowed their knee to the Lordship of Jesus (who need to see how believers respond to the mutifaceted circumstances of life). And beyond these earthly eyes, there are other eyes in the spirit realm--both angelic and demonic--who observe and take note whether or not we trust our God in the crucible of trials and affliction. (Remember Job?) And those who have gone before us--are they watching too? . . . Every day of our short lives--even every hour--has eternal consequences for good or ill. Eternity--and the way we'll live in it--is somehow being shaped by our moment-by-moment responses to the life we have before us to live right now."She also shares this encouragement:
"I can go on . . . because God moves through time with me. . . . He knows time in a personal, experiential way. As the writer of Hebrews said, 'We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality' . . . When you find yourself in chronic agony, life gets reduced to hours rather than days--and sometimes minutes and seconds. When I am in physical distress in the night, unable to sleep, unable to move, and unwilling to awaken Ken (again) to turn me, I need to know that God's concern and care for me is literally breath by breath, heartbeat by heartbeat, moment by moment."This is all a great encouragement to me, so I made a printable 5x7 to share with you, dear friends. It's free for your personal use, and you can download it HERE.
And after you've printed your printable, you can belt out Meredith Andrew's "Not for Moment" with me."All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you." Psalm 38:9