With increasing frequency, disaster, tragedy and chaos seems to be occurring all around. It's not so difficult to cope with, when it's far away, in the heart of another country, or across the shoreline of another sea. But when it hits our shoreline, when it hits our hearts...there are lots of questions.
"God, why us? Why me??"
These past few weeks it's gotten a little closer home. My Nana died...a young family up near Kettle Falls WA just lost their 14 yr old daughter in a drowning accident when her canoe capsized in the icy floodwaters....another friend's home was blown away in the devastating Joplin tornadoes that occurred last week (see personal pictures here), thousands of homes are under water because of the mississippi river, not far from where my family lives (they just happen to live in the mountains on high ground), another friend - a young happily married pregnant mother, was just diagnosed with a serious brain tumor (she was just anointed last night)....another friend was just told that he has bone cancer and may not have long to live...my own grandmother has metastatic cancer and is struggling as the lumps and bumps are sprouting up all over her body....a young man that I'm related to has just had the third door closed in his face from one that he cared for and was hoping to court....and the stories go on. I too have been walking through my own "valley." To me at times, it's seemed very deep...yet as I look around, I realize it's not as deep as many others.
There are lots of questions, yet as I've been praying and talking to God about all this, I realize...this is not some strange thing we ALL are walking through. It's called life. And who are we to say, "Why me?" Instead we should be saying, "Why not me?" Why do I still have it so good when there are millions struggling without a bite to eat right now? Why do I still have a roof over my head when there are thousands that have just lost theirs? Why do I still have a job when there are many that have no job to be found. (My roommate is one of those...she's been looking for a job for months with no success!) Times are hard...and they are getting harder. Yes, Jesus does give peace, He does give strength. But despite the pain and hardship...I'm still so blessed.....I could be experiencing so much worse....just like many of my comrades and friends. "Why not me, God? Why not me??"
One thing we know...Jesus is coming soon....and He's allowing the trials to make us stronger to stand for what lies ahead. He's also allowing them, I believe, so that our song can be refined and tuned.
There are songs which can only be learned in the valley. No musician can teach them, no rules of voice can help make them perfectly sung. Their music is in the heart. They are songs of memory, or personal experience. This song from the valleys of our life is also a song of triumph and victory. It is because through our sorrow, we will come out the other side and realize that Christ has made us free - we are victorious in Him!
No angels can sing our song. To do this they must have passed through our exile. Only the children of the cross can sing this song.
So now, when trials comes, we must remember, we are receiving a music lesson from our heavenly Father. We are being educated for the choir invisible. There are parts in that heavenly symphony that none can take but me. In this dark night on earth, He is preparing our song. In the valley, He is tuning our voices. In the clouds of storm, He is deepening the chords. Through the rain, He is sweetening the melody. (And He is sweetening my Melody!)
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
1 Peter 4:12, 13.
"In the full light of day, and in hearing of the music of other voices, the caged bird will not sing the song that his master seeks to teach him. He learns a snatch of this, a trill of that, but never a separate and entire melody. But the master covers the cage, and places it where the bird will listen to the one song he is to sing. In the dark, he tries and tries again to sing that song until it is learned, and he breaks forth in perfect melody. Then the bird is brought forth, and ever after he can sing that song in the light. Thus God deals with His children. He has a song to teach us, and when we have learned it amid the shadows of affliction we can sing it ever afterward." Ministry of Healing, p. 472
I'm jus thankful, that although the notes may be strained, and sometimes off tune, He's preparing me for that Heavenly choir...and one day, I'll have a song...we all will have a song, that no one else can sing but us.
"And no man could learn that song, but the hundred and forty-four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth." Rev 14:3
*Some of these thoughts came from Streams in the Desert, May 29th