In life we can be faced with events that shake us to our core and feel so devastating to our soul. Heartbreak, loss and grief can be such an overwhelming force, it can feel as though we are being consumed. It is during these hugely challenging moments in our lives that it can be hard to comprehend a way forward and to see the light in the darkness.
The discovery of my husband’s unfaithfulness and his subsequent abandonment of the marriage was the biggest blow of my life. In the early days of this awful hurt, I felt as though I was standing at the edge of a ravine, that this was surely the end of my life as I knew it. Who was I without him? My whole world revolved around my husband. Where would I place all of this love? It was as though I had experienced a death. I was in deep grief but my husband was very much alive and kicking.
One day a friend came to visit me, so that we could have some prayer. They gave me some words that I have come to cling onto. A passage from the bible.
Isaiah 43:2 (NIV) says, ‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.’
These words gave me hope that I could survive the devastation. It spoke comfort to my fear and reassured me that this would not be the end for me. I would not be overwhelmed or overcome. God’s love would uphold me, cover me and protect me.
What spoke to me within this passage was the emphasis on movement, ‘when you pass,’ ‘when you walk.’ I knew instinctively that I must keep moving and keep walking on through the pain. God was with me, walking alongside me in these frightening and unchartered territories that I had never envisioned being in.
These words are as true for you as they have been for me. It may feel like the loss, heartbreak and devastation is too much for your soul to bear. I want to tell you that God is with you in your sorrow and He will not let you be overcome. Keep walking. Keep moving knowing that God walks besides you.
The fear may feel huge, but God is bigger. The loss may feel immense, but God’s healing is overflowing. The heartbreak may feel shattering, but God binds the broken-hearted.
Momentous losses and events in our lives can make us feel like we are walking through flames that lick at our souls and threaten to engulf us, but we will not be burned and we will not be overcome. Not only will we not be consumed by the flames, in fact, we will be strengthened by them.
We have been held to the flame and forged by life’s hurt. Fire can destroy, ravage and turn living things to ashes but God is a God of new life. His spirit within us will turn the flames that threaten us into a refiner’s fire. Just like a precious metal which is refined and purified, set to a searing heat so that it can be restored, made stronger, changed into something new and beautiful, so are we too.
I believe that this event in my life that felt so impossible to overcome, will be the very thing that will strengthen me in ways I never thought possible. I believe that this event in your life that feels so impossible to overcome, will be the very thing that will strengthen you in ways you never thought possible. It will refine you and ignite in you a spirit of survival and a drive to reclaim what has been lost.
RISE UP FROM THE ASHES!