Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him. Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide Himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:18-21)
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I feel like my past few years have been marked by learning how to see God loving me through difficult situations.
His love marked by the cross is something that I know well, but sometimes it is hard to recognize the daily love He brings to us.
But lately, I have seen over and over the love that He gives me through His Body, the Church. Not just the love of an acquaintance, but the love that shows up; the kind of love that is lavished upon others during their weaknesses. The difficult aspect of letting others carry your burdens alongside of you.
Personally, I am independent in some very specific ways. If I can do something myself, I want to do it myself. I don’t really like other people helping me when it isn’t necessary. I like feeling capable and in control... it’s comforting. But I think relying on myself shows my lack of trust in God, His capabilities, and His faithfulness.
I have faced many hardships in the past five years. Each one has grown me and shaped me in different ways, but all have one thing in common: My complete inability. My need. My humility. My dependence.
Each presents itself with fear. Satan tries to distract me with doubts and pride. But each time, God has shown up and provided.
I have had two high-risk, bed-ridden pregnancies. Nothing screams “I NEED HELP” like not being able to go to the bathroom on your own. It’s difficult. It’s hard. I have felt completely helpless and embarrassed by my need for others. But I’ve never seen the love of God through His people more. I’ve never seen His faithfulness to me more than in those times when I thought I was alone, but God heard my cry.
As a family, we’ve had house issues galore, financial struggles, the need of rest, and the need of date nights and family time. I’m sure many of you have faced the same struggles, or different ones, or ones even more difficult. We all may taste the “bread of adversity and the water of affliction,” but our God is there to walk us through it.
I have discounted His love for me more often than not because I refuse to recognize it.
I can get caught up in waiting for God to change my circumstance and miss the small ways that He is loving me through it... People offering free babysitting, finishing our yard work, paying for a meal, and even just bringing over games and dessert to lighten up an evening during a hard week.
At first glance, I do not consider these things love from the Father. I always jump to friends just being nice because they feel obligated or feel sorry for me. I just throw that love back in my Lord’s face because I am usually to insecure to understand what He is doing for me.
But Jesus gives us enough to get through. These simple gestures of love have provided myself and my family with more than just a free meal or time away, but a growing trust in the Lord and a deeper understanding of what He calls us all to do for each other.
When we ask “Where is His love for me?,” we need not look further than the people surrounding us that He is working through.
This does not mean, however, that we just sit around and wait for others to do things for us. We have our part. We have our responsibilities and our paths He has placed us on. And our time will come to respond to others as we have been responded to.
But right now, we need to only accept the grace that He is freely giving us. For He hears our cry and longs to be gracious to us. Let us recognize it today.
Kate, Declare Glory