What We Can’t See
“I call with all my heart; answer me, O LORD, and I will obey your decrees. I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes. I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night that I may meditate on your promises. Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your laws. Those who devise wicked schemes are near, but they are far from your law. Yet you are near, O LORD, and all your commands are true.” (Psa. 119:145-151, NIV)
As this long song begins, the psalmist’s greatest desire is to grow deeper with the Lord. He began this quest enthusiastically. He recognized that God allowed his suffering so that he could taste victory over sin. Through the latter verses, he expressed extreme discomfort and need.
Beloved, in moments of incredible suffering, philosophy is discarded. We enter into a survival mentality. Our prayers become a whimper for divine intervention. The Lord’s presence is incredibly close; yet, we can barely discern it through the fog of anguish. In these times, it is all God’s efforts – not our own.
These cruel moments are wonderfully transformative. We never emerge from them unchanged. When we are at the precipice of death, our deepest problems become soft clay in the Master’s skilled hands. Sadly, this is what it takes to get to the very root of our worst flaws. Ironically, the pain can be so blinding that we are completely unaware of His repairs. These horrible situations of acute discipleship yield an incredible blessing that is worth more than gems.
Painite is the rarest gem in the world. Although it was named for its discoverer, British gemologist Arthur Charles Davy Pain, we can see a spiritual connection to its special name. From the forge of God’s cleansing, something beautiful has emerged. Like the psalmist, we must trust in the Lord’s purposes even when we cannot think clearly.
“Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” (Psa. 119:165, NIV)
Father, You are the potter and we are the clay. Help us to trust You as You sculpt us into what You want us to be. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray. Amen!