The email came through offering an annual report of the life of this blog in 2012. I knew there wouldn’t be much to see but what I saw revealed more than I realized. Over 3,100 visits here and I wrote seven times in 2012….. seven times. In years past the norm for me was writing two maybe three times a week minimum. The thing is, this “tell all” not only reveals the summary of this blog but aptly portrays the days that have made up my year.
Silence has filled the walls of this place as it has filled the walls of my life. It has been dark and lonely, the longest winter of my soul. Discouragement has been a frequent visitor. God has not seemed near. How could God be at work here?
Is this what it was like in those dark days of silence between the old and new when for 400 years God remained quiet? What went through the minds of those who waited for Him to show up? I look to see their story intertwined with mine. Did they too wonder if He had dropped off the face of the earth? Surely they wrestled through tears and gnawing of teeth to just put one foot in front of the other. Surely they felt the disappointments of His absence. Did they want to throw in the towel? Were tears frequent visitors; the aches deep and profound; the unanswered questions intensely discouraging. I want to think they did, for this has been my story on this rough terrain of my journey.
The end of the year left me contemplating the marathon runner. It was God’s invitation to see beyond my realm of this year into His.
The testing of your faith produces endurance scripture says. “Strong’s” translates it like this; “characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose or loyalty to faith by even the greatest trials and struggles.” “Websters” says it’s the ability to withstand hardship or adversity; especially :the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity.
Endurance has its perfect work James tells us. For when your endurance is tested, your faith has a chance to grow. Is this what growing pains feel like I wonder?
It has been the darkest hour of the darkest night. I have waited for the dawn to arrive. The silence has been oppressive making it more difficult. I have begged Him to let me hear Him….feel Him… and though He has not; I could not stop believing. I could not give up on this God I’ve given my heart to. Did endurance have its perfect work I wondered?
Four hundred years of silence were broken with one statement. From the depths of the earth the shout went out;”for unto you is born this day a child.” The glory of the Lord came near as dawn arrived to the darkness of a cold, dark stable, bringing light to the earth’s longing.
Sometimes it is the way of God in our lives. The glory of God passes in the dark silence of the cleft of the rock.
Moses begged God to allow His glory to pass before Him. It wasn’t with fanfare and bright lights. It was in the darkness of the fracture of the rock that God passed before Him. He was allowed only to see His back once He had passed.
Could it be that this darkness has been the hand of God covering me and protecting me with His hand as He passes by? Could the tremors of upheaval that have swept through my world be the very place where God has shakened what must be shakened to leave only that which is lasting to remain? After all things that once impeded me lay strewn along the path, no longer needed.
Never have I felt more abandoned. In spite of it all, something has carried me still, something that didn’t require anything from me, for I couldn’t. Words escaped me and disciplines could not be mustered up any longer.
As dawn breaks in this new year things are becoming more clear. Could that be the back of God I see? Endurance will have its perfect work as that which encumbers us falls away.
The dark clefts of the rock where all seems lost and God seems silent, is the place where glory falls.
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” The Message
©copyrighted 2013; Julie L. Todd