Wow. I am always so amazed and humbled to be in the presence of someone who really lives out God's faithfulness, is a picture of His sufficiency, and lives a life daily yielded to Him. I am drawn to biographies of those saints who have been through unspeakable trials and have emerged proclaiming God's goodness (Corrie Ten Boom and Elisabeth Elliot come immediately to mind). Here in blogland, I am drawn to Amy's and Heather's blogs, and I always come away so humbled by their words and lives.
Yesterday at the pool I was getting caught up on some podcasts and came upon the Revive Our Hearts series from last week. I was riveted by the story of Molly Veldt , who has been through the unimaginable, having lost three of her children to a rare genetic disorder. If you have a moment, go read the transcript or listen to the series called "Don't Waste Your Suffering." As I was listening to her, I kept thinking, "I want that. I want what she has!"
Then, Nancy said something so key:
"And Molly, even as I look into your eyes-now it's been just about two years since you buried your little Mary Grace-I’m seeing something in your countenance, something in your spirit that most women don't have. It is a gift of God's grace and His work and His Spirit in you. We'd all like to have what you have in terms of the spiritual radiance and the beauty. But so many times we're afraid to let God take us on the path, whatever that may mean, that will give us that kind of rich fruit in our lives.
I don't mean to suggest by that that if we want to be spiritually radiant or mature or godly that that means God's going to take children. And you're not suggesting that. But I think we have to know that there are no shortcuts to sanctification and to God's glory filling us and to knowing God in the intimate ways that you've come to know Him."
"There are no shortcuts to sanctification." Wow. As I think of that again today, I'm asking myself...how many of my prayers are actually my attempts to look for shortcuts? Oh, how I want to avoid certain things, but those things might actually be what take me from one level of glory to the next. (2 Cor. 3:18) I want what they have, but do I want to go through what is necessary to have it? There are no shortcuts.
One resounding theme I get from stories of the faithful is this: It's God. God is doing it.
Here's something Molly said that really touched me:
"And let me just say-you say I've made conscious choices. I've made conscious choices to trust, but there are plenty of examples in my life of times when I've chosen not to trust, and fear has welled up in my heart.
So I want to be clear to say that this story I'm sharing is not a story of my faithfulness. This is a story of God's faithfulness. This is a story of a work that He has done. And because He has shown Himself to me in huge and faithful ways, I can have the courage to trust Him and can choose to trust Him-only because of what He's done for me."
God, You are enough. Just as You strengthened and sustained the saints of the past and continue to do so for these precious women, You are at work in my heart and life this day. Thank You for not taking me on the shortcuts for which I pray. I want to experience the fullness of Your presence as you work Your good, pleasing and perfect will for my life-- for my ultimate gladness and Your ultimate glory. You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.