Monday, May 1, 2017

Weeping Forward

Weeping forward is a term I recently came across in Kelly Minter's Ruth Bible study and it struck a chord deep within.  Since then, it's a prayer I've been praying for a lot of friends as they deal with hard, hard things...divorce, suicide of a loved one, prodigals, illness, the list goes on and on.   And then this morning I got my daily alert for the The Bible App verse of the day.  It comes from Psalm 42, which is the perfect psalm for a weary soul.  The Psalmist has gone into the depths and all hope seems lost.  But then he emerges.  He writes, "Why are you in despair, O my soul?  And why have you become disturbed within me?  Hope in God for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God."

Weeping forward is the notion that when life seems to be crashing in around you and you feel like you're paralyzed with fear, anger, regret, or sorrow; you refuse to stop and wallow.  Yes, wallowing and having a pity party is the natural, human instinct and reaction.  But instead of succumbing to those emotions, you push forward.  You put one foot in front of the other and take it one day at a time.  And you always keep moving forward.  Always.  No matter what.  Like the mountain depicted in the picture above, sometimes it's a steep uphill climb.  But climb, dear one.

 There may be pain in the night but JOY comes in the morning:

I know what it means to live this.  I feel like almost the whole decade of my twenties was spent weeping forward.  There was weeping over a failed relationship, not being able to find a job in my field, piling amounts of debt incurred by many different situations (some my own fault, some not), dealing with miscarriage and then infertility.  It was a trying time in my life, but I learned many important lessons through it all.  I learned what it meant to weep forward.  And through that, I saw God's providence and His deliverance.

The only way I learned how to weep forward was to surrender my life to God fully.  Grasping for control was keeping me planted right where I was.  There was never any growth because I dug my heels in and refused to surrender.  Once I was brought to my knees in full surrender, I suddenly felt the weight lifted.  Nothing about my situation had changed, but who carried the burden of my situation had shifted.  Instead of me packing it upon my own shoulders, I gave it to God.  I began to spend time with Him and learn His word.  Through that, He showed me many truths that encouraged me and kept me moving along the path He had laid before me.  He gave me enough light just for the next step.

After your season of suffering. God in all His Grace will RESTORE. Confirm. Strengthen and ESTABLISH you.   1 Peters 5:10:

If you're in this situation today, I want to encourage you and remind you that there is hope.  And that hope is in Him and Him alone.  You are not alone and you are loved more than you can imagine.  If when you do what is right and still suffer, patiently endure it.  This finds favor with God (1 Peter 2:20).  The patience you are gaining is ultimately strengthening your character.  Keep weeping forward, finding your strength from the Lord. One day you will be able to look back and see the beauty that was once just ashes.