Many hard times have come our way in the last year. I’m still not to the place where my initial response is what I would like it to be. When we receive bad news of one sort or another, I typically throw my hands up at God, yell out in despair, anger or disappointment and then just cry. But, by God’s grace, my improper attitude or response is taking up shorter amounts of time. Prior to this year of hardship, it may have taken me months to bounce back from the difficulties in life. Lately, its only lasted a couple of hours! To what do I ascribe this transformation? The grace of God working in my soul and a much deeper understanding of His promises found in Scripture. I have never thought of myself as a “strong” person. Oftentimes growing up, I felt I lacked the backbone needed to make it through life without unraveling. My dad used to tell me that with some things I had to get “tougher”. I only wish he could witness the strength God has girded me with in recent months. We have weathered quite a bit, and instead of unraveling, God has deepened my faith in Him and given me strength to continue enduring.
One of the closest friends I have known in this life gave me this quote on Friday, only minutes after receiving the news that our court cases were not heard for the boys. Its from Sarah Edwards (wife to Jonathan Edwards-outstanding preacher in the 1700s during the Great Awakening) in a letter to one of her children shortly after Jonathan’s death.
What shall I say! A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. O that we may kiss the rod and lay our hands upon our mouths! The Lord has done it. p.200 Marriage To a Difficult Man: The Uncommon Union of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards by Elisabeth D. Dodds
How timely this friend spoke into my life…the idea of God’s rod in my life correcting my incorrect thoughts about Him and training me in righteousness and godliness through this very difficult process of waiting for my boys to come home. May I close my mouth and trust Him. And may I learn to not fear the rod, but kiss it, as it is the very means that I become like Christ.