“I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath. He has led me and made me walk In darkness and not in light. Surely He has turned His hand against me Time and time again throughout the day. He has aged my flesh and my skin, And broken my bones. He has besieged me And surrounded me with bitterness and woe. He has set me in dark places Like the dead of long ago. He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out; He has made my chain heavy. Even when I cry and shout, He shuts out my prayer. He has blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked.”
Lamentations 3:1-9 NKJV
“My soul still remembers And sinks within me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the Lord.”
Lamentations 3:20-26 NKJV
Someday, hopefully before my end, I will attempt to do a blow by blow accounting of all that has occurred in my life. Like a boxer making a record of the number of broken noses, I will make account my afflictions, and all that has been cast into my path as stumbling blocks, slowing me down and making life difficult.
I will relive some of the more difficult times, and the great victories and losses of my life, encapsulated in pain, during those times. The memories will be horrific, and many will summon up the feelings afresh, as if I am reliving those moments all over again.
As I read Lamentations chapter three, I burst into tears, because my life was being represented. I have known much affliction, some due to illness, some due to the sins of others, and some, sadly, due to my own actions. I mourned over the recollections of suffering past.
Then I came to verse twenty, and I was reminded of what has allowed me to continue on, day after day, enduring the struggle. God has been faithful, He has upheld me time and time again. Truly great is His faithfulness.
In every trial I have endured, I was not consumed. I have seen the hand of God, bringing blessing even in the midst of the storm. I am reminded with regularity that He sees all that we go through, and none of it goes unnoticed and unaddressed. Even in conflict with others, I know that God is for me and faithful.
“Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up; Fighting all day he oppresses me. My enemies would hound me all day, For there are many who fight against me, O Most High. Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?”
Psalms 56:1-4 NKJV
What can flesh do to me?
In recalling all of the trials, I am reminded of all the great victories. He has delivered me from cancer, has sustained me through three years of dialysis, has granted me a new kidney, and comforted me in the loss of loved ones. In the midst of poverty, the Lord has provided everything I need.
The greatest portion, is His provision of salvation, as Jesus died to save me from my sins, was buried, and rose again that I can have newness of life and the power, through the Holy Spirit to turn from future sin. The Lord is there to guide me into the Holy, and help me walk as a follower of Christ.
“You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.”
Psalms 73:24-27 NKJV
Someday I will leave this scarred and damaged body behind, and enter glory. I will get a new body, that will never again know corruption. God will be my portion forever, my constant source of life and light.
Brothers and sisters, in the midst of trials, remember that God is for you, that He has gone before you into the storm. He is providing for you before you even realize you have a need. As I go forward, I know that whatever I may encounter is already foreknowledge of God, and He will be with me, come blessing or my last breath.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.”
Psalms 23:6 NKJV
Let us go and tell of Jesus who came to save us from our sins. Let us tell the world that he is our portion, our eternal provision, that need nothing else.
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