Afflictions Eclipsed By Glory

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I found myself asking a lot of questions, but mostly my question was WHY? Why us? Why again? Why did she do it? Why did God let it? Why, why, why? 

 

 

Why does evil hunt you? because of your design, your purpose, your mission to reveal the glory of God, the heart of God, to bring the rule of God to your domain as you experience and express love as a man who offers life and growth or a woman who invites into beauty, life, and rest.  When you extend the rule of God, the kingdom of darkness ruled by evil, shrinks back, diminishes, is displaced by the light of the glory of the gospel of Christ shining into and through your heart. (II Cor 4)  Evil fears you because as the glory of God becomes brighter and brighter in and through you the darkness must recede.  - Larry Bolden    

As I was reading through portions of the book that Larry Bolden, founder of Wellspring Group, is working on, I found myself drawn to this paragraph. Faced with yet another unplanned pregnancy in our family, I feel as if I have been in a particularly intense season of being hunted lately (my older daughter has an almost 2 year old, and my younger just gave birth a few weeks ago – both are unmarried and live with us). This go around was much more painful for many reasons, but especially because we thought we had walked through the first instance so well, and because we thought we had done all the “right” things to make sure this didn’t happen again – translation = “We did it right.”  So Blog_Post_SMS_(3).jpgnot only was it a double blow coming from my daughter, it was also a double blow from God. Honestly, it felt downright mean.  I found myself asking a lot of questions, but mostly my question was WHY? Why us? Why again? Why did she do it? Why did God let it? Why, why, why?  So I can see why I would be drawn to the question “Why does evil hunt me?”

If I let evil answer I hear things like, “because you deserve it,” “because you’re a bad parent,” “because God is punishing you,” or “because God has abandoned you” among many other similar lies. I pour my heart out to God. I am at the end of my efforts…the end of my understanding…the end of myself.  As I lament over the heavy price my husband and I must pay for the sins of our children, I am reminded of the price God paid for the sins of his children…for the sins of this child - ME. As I vent my frustration over the fact that our daughter walked through her sister’s pregnancy with us and she did the ONE thing we begged her not to, I hear a still small voice that says, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die.” (Gen. 2:16-17 NIV) Oh yes God, you know exactly what it feels like when your children do the one thing you tell them not to do! I am comforted knowing I am not alone. No longer does this feel mean. I feel God with me, telling me that he gets it! Loving me in the midst of my questions, and telling me there is purpose in this pain. There is an intimacy of sharing in suffering that I am experiencing with the Trinity, and I am at peace.

I look up the Scripture passage referenced in the excerpt.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…” (2 Cor.4:16-17 NKJV)

This intimacy that comes as I know I am seen and heard by the God of the universe is overwhelming. It truly makes these afflictions feel light and momentary. I am reminded of the David Crowder Band song, “How He Loves.”

 

He is jealous for me

Love's like a hurricane, I am a tree

Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy

When all of a sudden

I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory

And I realize just how beautiful You are

And how great Your affections are for me

And oh

How He loves us so

 

Afflictions eclipAfflictions_(2)_Blog_Post_SMS.jpgsed by glory…I have experienced it time and time again as I have brought the broken and wounded places of my heart to Jesus and he has breathed life and love into them. The glory that shines through me in those places far outweighs the suffering that preceded it. I know this is true. But sometimes I need a reminder. Because my eyes look upon my circumstances and they see brokenness, chaos, sin, and pain. My mind thinks about the future and I fear the unknown.

 So once again I bring my heart to Jesus, and he reminds me through the words on the page – My Beloved – your design, your purpose, your mission is to reveal My glory and My heart to your domain.  BE the woman I created you to be and evil will shrink back and be displaced by the light of the glory of the gospel of Christ shining into and through your heart.  Evil fears you because as My glory becomes brighter and brighter in and through you, the darkness must recede.

 Yes, evil hunts me. And evil hunts you. But we are not prey to be devoured. Our response to this truth should not be to cower in the shadows. We are to SHINE with the glory that God uniquely placed in each of us by being the men or women He created us to be. How is God asking you to shine today?

 


 One Step Further:

  • Where is evil hunting you right now?

  • What is the lie evil is whispering?

  • How is God calling you to respond?


 

 

 

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Dana Smith is a funny life-giving warrior who is learning how to be increasingly dependent on Jesus. She is also wife to Greg, mom to three amazing young adults, and Lolly to Mason and Noah. As Women’s Equipping Coordinator for Wellspring Group, she loves pursuing her passion – empowering women to step out of shame and into their God-given glory - through coaching, teaching, writing and providing community. In her spare time she enjoys binge-watching Netflix series and game nights with family. She is available for speaking engagements as well as lunch – especially if it involves Chick-Fil-A diet lemonade;).

 

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  • commented 2017-10-11 15:09:41 -0500
    Dana,
    As we sang this song at the women’s Battle, I was reminded of how much these words strike me every time I sing them. Afflictions eclipsed by glory.
    Thank you for sharing so honestly and for facilitating the weekend.
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