Stories that Shine on an Awesome God

Posts tagged ‘restoration’

Testing God’s Way

Rose-Marie* stood at the sink washing dishes. By hand. One pan was so dirty it needed special treatment. Like her heart.

She knew God loved her, but her ability to love and forgive seemed wretched. How did God’s way work for her? Or anyone?

She twitched her head. Think of all the scenarios of evil in the world that God’s love has to work through—has to have an answer for—a way to heal and restore without force or coercion. Is it even possible?

She found a scouring pad and spoke aloud.

“God, I haven’t always done well in Your school, in letting You teach me, but now I’m tired of spiritual limbo. Your way must work in every circumstance, for real problems. It needs to work for all cultures and situations. That’s what I want to test.”

“So, what is faith?” The Spirit posed a gentle question.

“It’s naked trust, and I haven’t had much experience.” She bore down on the pan.

“What kind of experience do you need?”

“Experience with trusting for the ultimates.”

“What are the ultimates?”

Life, death, health, economic security. An ultimate for me is to find my reason to be. My place. Who I am. My place of belonging. Another ultimate is to love and be loved. For Your way to mean anything, it must be tested in these ultimates.”

The metal at the bottom shone through. She rinsed the pan and left the kitchen.

That was over thirty years ago, and Rose-Marie, aka Merita Atherly Engen, has had plenty of faith-tests in those ultimates. Some she passed. Some she failed.

Love, however, has never failed.

Most recently, I have gained deeper insight in how God’s way works in some of the most horrendous situations. Specifically of how His love has restored and is restoring the lives of those who have endured childhood spiritual, sexual, and ritualistic abuse and trauma. The more I learn, the greater God becomes.

He’s answering my prayer of years ago. He’s showing me that no matter what the Enemy, the Father of Lies, the Evil One, concocts through human agents, God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is able and willing and powerful to restore.

If you have been trapped by dark-side abuses, struggling to be free, invite Jesus into your situation. Cry out for help. Believe in Love’s way. It probably won’t happen overnight, but one step at a time, the light of Love will dispel the darkness. Then stand back and be amazed at the power of His might.

He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: For they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place. He delivered me, because he delighted in me.

Psalms 18:16-19

*Rose-Marie is the fictional name I’ve given myself in my yet-to-be-published book, “Heartache of Promise.” The story is based on a section of my life, so yeah, Rose-Marie is yours-truly.

More Than Survival

The seed lands in gravel. No one notices. No one cares about the life stored within. It’s on gravel, after all, atop hard-baked ground next to a plain, metal building. Alone. Without worth.

Rain on the roof drips from the edge. Softens the seed. Life sprouts. What else can it do but try?

Sun warms. Below gravel, tender roots grasp soil of clay. Pitiful nourishment.

Cool mornings.

Blistering mid-days.

Dark nights.

A tinge of green uncurls into an environment it did not choose.

Rain. Sun. Rain. Sun. Rain.

Leaves uncurl. A blossom forms.

Sun…sun.

More Sun.

Exhausting.

Unending.

Abuse.

A few green leaves. Perhaps a flower will unfold, but drought forbids fruit.  

A woman seeks relief from the abusive heat. Reading as she walks, she glances aside, noticing what the seed has tried to produce.  Her thoughts, otherwise wrapped in an epic story of human survival, pause amazed at how beauty arises from harshness. The plant has somehow survived. With a flower like that, it has more than survived.

The woman continues her reading. It is one survivor’s story among many.

A seed.

A root.

A leaf.

A blossom.

The stories are coming to life, producing fruit. She is writing one herself.

A child is born. What else can it do but try?

Yet, who wants to merely survive? Who wants to be known only for their exhausting, constant struggle for identity and life? People commend what is survived. But when one is drowning and struggling for air, who among us would want to only be told we’re strong?

Action laced with words of love and care are better than pats on the back for endurance.

And what of the struggle? Will it ever produce? If only a leaf or, by chance, a bloom forms, will that be enough?

Chances are high any person we meet has experienced life-altering abuse or trauma. They may be in the root stage, the leaf, or perhaps the blossom. We can be Love’s hands and voice and action for intervention. We can provide the water of refreshment and the warmth of truth and light.

Let’s be kind.

Think before we judge or speak.

Be aware of pain.

Follow our hearts.

Seek to understand.

Take root.

Blossom.

Produce.

And, if you’re still a dry seed, there is life inside and it is enough.

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him ALSO that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones…I will heal him; I will lead him also and restore comforts unto him.”

Isaiah 47: 15 & 18

“And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday.”

Isaiah 58:10

Here’s a link to the epic story mentioned above. I am acquainted with the writer and his wife. The story, while long and at times unbelievable, is true and is another example of how God navigates through the network of evil to protect and provide and to “restore comforts.”

https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/33rd-degree-married-lewis-miles/1139714716?ean=2940162521556

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