Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Reflection of His Glory...

"But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.  To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. " 1 Peter 5:10-11

I am still "chewing" on this scripture after having attended a widows' retreat this past weekend in which this scripture was the "theme". The weekend was so powerful, and filled with the Lord's love. 104 widows from several different states coming for a respite from their daily lives filled with every imaginable emotion as a result of the loss of their husband. Each widow with a similar, yet different, testimony to be shared. Widows shouldering each other's burdens to lighten the load...truly as the Lord intended the path of grief to be...comforting each other with the comfort we ourselves have received. His love perfected in the broken hearted.

I have read 1 Peter 5:10-11 before, and of course God's Word is always impactful...ALWAYS alive and can be applied to every situation as you are experiencing it.  And the same scripture can speak differently to you in the various circumstances you go no matter how many times you have read the same scripture...its meaning is significant where you are at...right this minute. So this weekend as I was fellowshipping with my widow-sisters, and as I was contemplating this took on a brand new meaning for the place that I am in right now in my widowhood.

The road has been a long one for the 3 1/2 years that I have been widowed. Some days seemed much longer than others...but I have persevered and traveled this road, putting one foot in front of the other even when I didn't feel like moving...AT ALL. Truly, the suffering has been extensive for more years than I have actually been a widow. It began the day my husband Jay was diagnosed with cancer and continued on long after he died from it. So, when I read something like this scripture that tells me that my suffering will be for "a little while"...the next question is, just how LITTLE is little?? Well, if the Lord has a different plan for each individual person...then obviously, the answer would be that it is different for everyone...and it is up to the individual to WAIT upon the Lord for His still, small voice to tell you that your time for suffering from a certain situation is over.

And with that, the Lord whispered in my ear this weekend that my time of suffering from the loss of my husband has ended. Let me make myself grief HAS NOT ended...I still think of and miss my husband...but the physical, emotional, and monetary suffering that came with Jay's death has come to an end. I am no longer sickened at the thought that Jay is in heaven. I am no longer extremely emotional. And I am no longer suffering the financial straights that I was left in when he passed. I have been set FREE from my suffering!! Praise Jesus!

I was already feeling this very thing in my heart these past few months, but over the weekend at this widows' retreat, the Lord confirmed to me that because I have suffered "for a little while" He is now at work perfecting, establishing, strengthening and settling me. What a tremendous GIFT!! The Lord saw fit to show me just how far I have truly come in my grief process. This gift is my reward for being diligent to follow His road, His plan, and His Light no matter how difficult it was! This is an amazing testament to His faithfulness to meet me where I am at and grow my faith in Him and to add to my own personal testimony...and to be used for what purpose??? TO BRING HIM GLORY! Will there be more suffering in my life...absolutely, YES. But my suffering for this season has come to a close and I am ever so grateful for His healing touch on my heart. May His work in my life and in my heart be perfected according to HIS will and HIS plan!

To God be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. AMEN!