“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:38).
Most everything I long for spiritually is contained in this verse. I want more Holy Spirit in my life. For some reason, I imagine being more prone to giving people hugs and praying for them on the spot. I might even believe that what I pray for will happen. I might even pray for crazy things, just because I can. I could see myself being more bold with the truth and speaking encouraging words to lonely or disheartened people. Generally, the fruits of the Spirit would be popping up here and there.
I recently read Angie’s post reflecting on the one-year anniversary of her daughter’s birth and death, entitled “It Was Love.” All I know about Angie is what she tells the world in her posts, but she seems to me like someone who has a whole lot of living water flowing from her. She’s honest, joyous and faith-filled; she grieves beautifully and loves passionately. She writes, “We who are followers of the King must daily wake up and look in the mirror, seeing our reflection with a crown of thorns balanced on our heads. We must feel the burden of the cross at different points in our life, and with the power of Christ Himself, we will look solemnly back at ourselves and say, "I am choosing to bear the crown because I cannot live without the love..."
Since then, I’ve been fighting a battle against what I believe to be strategic lies from the enemy. They are accusations against God, and I find myself easily believing them. What originated as a question for God turned itself into fear and distrust. I was wondering: do I have to suffer like Angie has suffered in order to know and love God like she does? In other words, does God cause suffering so that people will love Him more? It makes some sense, based on many of the Scriptural metaphors we have for God, specifically the “refining fire” comparison. You know, the whole “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character” deal.
So then I began to imagine what it would be like if we lost Ellary to SIDS or something (seems like so many babies are dying in the mommy blog world). I tend to think that I’ve had little to no real suffering in my life thus far, and that freaks me out. It makes me wonder: “What’s coming? Something horrible is inevitable, right? If I ask God to take me deeper, then I’m opening myself up to pain. I’ll lose the protection of my mediocre spiritual life.” These are not uplifting thoughts, and I got to the point on this trajectory where I was willing to say, “If I have to lose Ellary in order to know and love God more, then I don’t want to know and love God more.” I said it. I think I still feel it a bit.
Nevertheless, I brought up this issue yesterday in a group I attend with a few other wives, and I left knowing that we’d all seen some victory over these lies. A couple of the girls are in that waiting stage, wondering if God’s going to provide relief from their current suffering. We all just really needed truth. I want to hit the main points that we discussed, because this conversation was money in the bank. Check back soon for some words from the Lord.