My family is welcoming Spring this week.
I am more often reminded to focus on Christ during the Easter season than any other time of year. My particular church doesn't observe Lent, but I am so drawn to it. 40 days to remember. To take a month to focus on the sacrifice of Jesus.
Personally, this time of year means so much to me. Four years ago, my husband and I went through a trial by fire and came out the other side shaken and scarred, but not finished. A few days later, we drank in our church's Easter Sunday service, thirsty for a fresh start. Three years ago, my Spring baby made me a mother.
I wonder if I'll look back on Spring 2011 as a significant season. For the last three weeks I've been sick. I spent eleven days in excruciating pain. At first I wondered where God was and why He wasn't protecting me. After all, I've been "good" lately. I've been seeking after Him through daily quiet time and weekly Bible study and church services. If "pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world" (C.S. Lewis) then obviously He'd gotten the wrong gal. I wasn't deaf to His whispers. I have been earnestly chasing a closer relationship with Him for several months now.
So I threw a tantrum. I was fearful. I doubted.
Then I picked up my Bible and read Psalm 27.
My husband had told me that his prayers were being answered, over and over, with "Wait on the Lord." My sweet friends and family had encouraged me to not fear, to wait, to trust.
So I read the psalm and simultaneously got a rebuke and a hug from the Lord.
He used pain to draw me closer to Him. To grow stronger. To trust deeper. He used it to beckon my husband to stay in constant communion with Him.
Now that a diagnosis and treatment plan looks to be mere days away, and I have some space to look back, I can clearly see His hand. The whole saga was choreographed to His will.
I have more to say about it, but I'll leave this alone for now, and end with Psalm 27.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.
One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, "Seek My face,"
My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek."
Do not turn Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the LORD will take care of me.
Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!