Thursday, August 16, 2012

Growing in the hard places or what to do when trials persist




















A friend told me once that wild orchids tend to grow in the cracks and crevices.  She said they seem to thrive in the rocky, hard-to-grow places, and that they are a lot heartier than one might think by the looks of them. We happened  upon some at the place we call lookout mountain on our Villa property.  Sara, our fearless one, who swats at invading bats without blinking an eye, got close.





























 Before I knew what was happening, Josue had snatched one of the blooms and came running up to show us his conquest.































 I think that is us in these days.....needing to grow stronger between the rocks and the hard places, where our only answer is God.   It is not Red Sea in proportion but it sure feels that way.   It seems like there is one trial after another, the pressure does not let up and it's constancy threatens to make us weary of well doing.  I read this recently from streams in the desert:

"We are troubled on every side" (2 Cor. 7:5).  Why should God have to lead us thus, and allow the pressure to be so hard and constant?.....Well,it makes us more conscious of our dependence upon Him. God is constantly trying to teach us our dependence, and to hold us absolutely in His hand and hanging upon His care.  It teaches us trust.  There is no way of learning faith except by trial.  The lesson of faith once learned, is an everlasting acquisition and an eternal fortune made; and without trust even riches will leave us poor.  --Days of Heaven upon Earth

Some of the trials are emotionally taxing, especially for the children......like Hae Young sensing she needs to stay in Korea for some unknown amount of time.  Some of the trials have been almost weirder than science....like Elvia thinking she had an infected mosquito bite when it was actually a worm growing under her skin!  We all are suspicious now of every raised bump.  Some of the trials have been on the absurd side....like all four of our cars breaking down at the same time.  Some of the trials have been financial in nature....like waiting for the funds to come in for our three University students who have come to the near end of their days off.  And some of the trials are quite personal in nature......like living in a half packed up home due to the landlord's need to return while waiting upon God to show us where He wants us to go with all our boxes of stuff.   Reading the scriptures, I am reminded that this is not something new under the sun:  it is merely to cause us to cling.  Like those wild orchids clinging to the side of the rock ,bringing beauty in unlikely spots, we are learning to lean into Him more and more and to have joy in the midst of it all.  That's the rub really.....finding joy in the middle of the trials.

Tonight I can hear my eldest boy on the porch.  He is singing praises at the top of his lungs, really belting it out.   Joy comes slipping under the door to the rest of us listening in.   It reminds me that this is what I need to do.  When the enemy whispers in my ear, "it's not worth it, it's too much, why don't you give up?" , the praise teaches me to rephrase the question into a statement.  "Is this really worth it?" becomes everything is worth it because HE is Worthy*.  Worthy is the Lamb who was slain and who sits on the throne reigning in majesty.  The perspective shifts, the attitude changes....joy comes.  He is Worthy to be praised in all situations. He will make a way where there is no way.  He will not leave us half packed or wormy or without all that we need to carry on.

So on we go, rejoicing (or at least trying to) in the trials, holding tightly to His hand, resisting the enemy....... learning from the wild orchids.


The man who toils rejoicing in his God has success guaranteed.
  Charles Spurgeon

*a teaching from Helen Roseveare