“Lord you say that I shouldn’t be surprised when trials come and that because of them, we will have a share in your joy and your glory! Your Word says that I must entrust my life and Bethany’s life to you because you will NEVER fail us! But Lord I need your help to consider all these trials ‘pure joy’ as James chapter one tells us, and to ask you for wisdom without wavering in this trial when I feel so tossed around by the raging seas. Prepare and secure me through this journey Lord – bring me safely through the other side Jesus.” Lynda, March 2010
Just weeks before Beth became ill, we both stood facing the ocean one night, staring in awe at a huge electrical storm while being pounded with rain. As the lightning forked over the sea, we laughed together. She had never witnessed anything like this before and felt safe snuggled in my arms as we watched the wonder of it from a safe distance. We had gone out prepared for the rain, but not prepared for this display of rage and we were glad that memorable night that we were not any closer!
When her trial hit us in a similar fashion, we were somewhat prepared, but could have been more so. Someone has wisely said, “We are either suffering, have suffered or will suffer!” As hard as it is to take, I see from scripture that Christians are not exempt from suffering.
Suffering is common to all people who live in a broken world. Thankfully, those who turn to Jesus Christ as their harbor of safety are rescued from ultimate and eternal suffering and misery. But the fact we were birthed into this wounded world means we are ‘all in the same boat’ so to speak. Each and every one of us is infected by sin and affected by the results of sin. So if ‘life storms’ caused by both inner and outer turmoil are inevitable, like good boy-scouts or girl-guides, we need to BE prepared!
In week one of Heartbreakingly Beautiful, we talk about what we believe to be the best way to BE prepared to face and pass through the storms of life. The very best preparation for any trial is to actively soak in the truths of the Bible and allow them to penetrate into the depth of our souls. Our son James commented recently, “When I face trials, the first thing I try to do is to immerse myself in God’s truth and His character.”
There is a lot of talk about the Bible in Heartbreakingly Beautiful. Bethany grew up knowing the importance of God’s Word. She was a ‘Wycliffe Kid’ and during her life she heard countless accounts of transformation brought about by the gift of the Word of God in people’s heart language. She even witnessed some of this transformation herself in her travels and was very supportive of the ministry God called her family to in 1998 when she was just a toddler.
While she was suffering, the truths of the Bible became ever more dear and alive to her. Perhaps you have already discovered the words of life that are declared in the Bible? Perhaps you are interested to know more about this amazing book? Perhaps you have previously read it as a history or textbook and have remained unchanged? While reading through Heartbreakingly Beautiful each week, we encourage you to read the Bible ‘devotionally’ – that means with a searching heart that asks God to give you clear eyes to see Him and open ears to hear what He wants to say to you. It means approaching the Bible with lips that are unafraid to ask questions and a spirit that is willing to run to God for comfort and answers. Will you allow God’s eternal Word to speak deeply into the needs of your own soul like Beth did? Will you allow the Word to PREPARE you for your time of trial? We believe that this living Word of God was the basis of Beth’s strength and transformation!
Song to encourage you:
In her heart of hearts, Beth knew that God loved her – a truth discovered from the Bible and affirmed to her many times over by God’s Spirit within her. The love of God was her true anchor. Listen to How He Loves Us by Kim Walker – one that Beth listened to time and time again before her storm hit…
Book to build you up…
At the beginning of the trial we were given this amazing gem of a devotion book that we highly recommend to you:
Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowan