What a year! I’ve experienced deep depression, grief, mourning, hurt, restlessness, anger, illness, fear, love and joy. So what has gotten me through it? Honestly, it is only in humbling myself prostate before the Lord, and letting go of the lies I’ve held in my heart about myself. It has been a year where I have had to come to the end of myself, humble myself before our Lord and Savior, and place my life fully in His hands. The Word the Lord gave to me is His promise that all I need can be found in Him, and in Him alone. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
This morning I was led to a passage in James: “Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the Spirit He has placed within us should be faithful to Him. And He gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.” (James 4:5-10)
This passage really speaks to me about my journey this year. I was doing the best that I could one step at a time, but I was drowning in sorrow, shame, fear, inadequacy, pain, grief and more than I can even put into words. But truly pride in a nutshell was standing between me and the Lord — what could I do to make myself better? The only thing was to admit that God is God and I am not. I needed rest that only Jesus can give, the nearness of the Lord, healing of my shame, and so much grace! Thankfully, “He gives grace generously”.
And then I read a devotional this morning that reminded me that this sinful world (with all of its suffering and pride) is not my home or shelter, and I will never find more than fleeting comfort here. In fact, if I look to what the world offers us, I am guaranteed to find pleasures that fight against my soul: “Dear brothers, you are only visitors here. Since your real home is in heaven, I beg you to keep away from the evil pleasures of this world; they are not for you, for they fight against your very souls.” (1 Peter 2:11)
Rest can only be found in the Lord. I am so thankful that He has guided me to where I am at this moment, resting in Jesus. Today, He gave me another Word: “But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.” (Ps. 73:28) I am so thankful for His mercy, His love and His grace. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” (2 Cor. 5:21)
Then I thought about a beautiful song I hadn’t heard in a while by Laura Story, “Blessings“. “‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops; What if Your healing comes through tears; What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near; What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise”. I believe many of the greatest blessings we are given, are found in the dark places of our lives, to bring us back into His light. He is only waiting for us to: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”