When God Labels You “Fireproof”

Filed in Suffering by on November 8, 2013 0 Comments

furnace

“Everything that can endure fire, you shall put through the fire, and it shall be clean; and it shall be purified with the water of purification. But all that cannot endure fire you shall put through water.” ~ Numbers 31:23

As I slithered my way back to bed, there was not a single position that brought relief from the pain. The lesser of all evils was found in an infant position of being curled up on my knees while trying to remove any pressure from my abdomen. My husband knelt next to the bed and I could hear him interpreting my groans to the Lord in prayer. He had phoned the the on-call physician, the emergency room, given me the maximum dose of medication possible and nothing brought relief.

I have to admit, of all the physical traumas, trials, and hospital encounters I have been through, this night was unlike any other. Barely able to think above pain’s interference, I cried out to the Lord and told Him I felt tortured. Inwardly, I echoed repeatedly, “Jesus, this is too much for me. Have mercy…have mercy.” Though the last thing a pastor and his wife want to do is lay a burden on the flock, my husband sent out a text message to closest friends and family requesting prayer. We are confident of the power that God brings through prayer. Many hours later, the pain had decreased enough that my body gave way to exhaustion and sleep.

IMG_5195“Adrenal fatigue” is one of the many conditions doctors have told me I’m battling, but it doesn’t come close to the kind of fatigue I have found with chronic pain and sickness. It feels like my entire being is exhausted and the term “fatigue” seems way too polite. After leaving one of my doctor’s appointments, (which wasn’t worth a penny of the co-pay), I leaned hard against the lobby window waiting for my husband. My heart felt heavy and scattered thoughts echoed the dismal words the doctor had given me moments earlier.

I began to pray…or whine. It was hard to tell the difference. Lord, what does “normal” feel like? I don’t remember what it feels like to have no pain, no weariness…just normal. I don’t remember the last time I slept through the night. I’m just so tired…so tired of hurting. The Lord’s words came pouring into my thoughts, but in my heart…it was almost like I turned my head, dropped my hands and didn’t receive them. They fell to the ground and I walked outside with unbelief. A much worse condition than any bodily sickness I could ever have.

Self-pity is a scary place. When I went there for a long vacation in my twenties, I was miserable and made everyone else miserable around me. I had a quick temper, sharp comebacks, rude defensiveness, and swam laps in the victimization pool almost every day. Self-pity is that deceptive belief that I’m the recipient of unfair or undeserved treatment from the Lord. I compared my life to everyone else and began to keep an unwritten checklist of all the things I felt I lacked or had to endure that no one else did. Satan loved it. He fed it. God hated it. He called it an abomination and sin. By His grace, He pulled my focus out of my navel and got my eyes back on the truth.

So after another long, sleepless night, I remembered that time and decided swimming with piranha would be safer than self-pity. I don’t want to go back there again. Unable to drink coffee, my foggy thoughts prayed and I opened my Bible. Highlighted words in bright yellow began to speak like a clarifying breeze.

Close-up of fire and flames on a black background (Huge file)“Everything that can endure fire, you shall put through the fire, and it shall be clean; and it shall be purified with the water of purification. But all that cannot endure fire you shall put through water.” ~ Numbers 31:23

A familiar whisper said to my soul, “You have had many times in the past when the floods I allowed made you fearful of drowning. You discovered My faithfulness that the waters would not overflow you (Isa. 43:2). But now you are in the furnace of affliction (Isa. 48:10). I would not allow you to go through the fire unless I knew you could endure it. Trust Me in the heat of suffering, the scorch of pain, and believe that I am just as much with you as I was with Daniel’s friends (Daniel 3:26).” This…my heart sighed…is part of what is called “the fellowship of His sufferings” from Philippians 3:10. My life verse.

How do people go on without the Lord? If my heart would just STAY and STAND in belief in the simple truths of God’s Words. No matter my circumstances. Sometimes, I just feel so earthy. More in touch with the grass beneath my feet than the arms beneath my life. More aware of my emotions and sadness than the presence of God in my heart. Earthy.

So I picked back up the promises I had dropped lifeless in the doctor’s office and embraced them in faith. My body may still be weary, but my soul certainly was strengthened. I will leave some of these promises for anyone else who is weary. There are many more you could add as well. The Lord has left us enough promises to fill our hearts with eternity. And now I am praying for the unknown faces that may read this…that you may hear the Lord say to your heart, “I am with you in this. In all of your affliction, I Am afflicted as well (Isa. 63:9). Trust Me to deliver you through it.”

blogger-image--579047935“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 1:7

“But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.” Deut. 4:20

“My grace is sufficient for you; for My strength is perfected in your weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9

About the Author ()

Because of God's infinite grace, I get to be the wife of the most wonderful pastor I know. I'm the mother of a little miracle and stepmother to a treasure. The Lord has used my past jobs of working with families affected by addictions, abuse, and other life tragedies, to help oversee the women's ministry at Calvary Chapel of the Finger Lakes. I couldn't be more thankful for the Lord's entrustment to wear multiple hats of various sizes in the ministry of "life". Praying that each of these things are being used to make me more like my Jesus and bring Him great glory. Though I love all of the Word of God, Philippians 3:10 has become my life verse and Acts 20:24 my ministry pursuit.

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