Are there situations in your life that seem irreconcilable? Is there a circumstance that continually chafes? Is the Lord taking you through a trial that appears to have no end? Does it sometimes feel easier just to despair than to trust? I was thinking and praying through my own responses to these questions today. As I pleaded with the Lord to change circumstance, people, relationships, I sensed my hardening of heart as I could not see, through Ruth-colored lenses, any resolution or reprieve within reach. The sclerosis gave way to humility as the Lord reminded me that He never promised to spare us from the valley of the shadow of death, but rather that we may walk through it with Him.
Details do not matter here...the Apostle Paul never told us what his thorn was, instead he simply encouraged:
So to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messeger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10, ESV)
Therein lies the resolution, the reprieve, the response: That I may rejoice all the more in hurt and trials, that my God might be made more beautiful in my life and undeniably sufficient in the face of the seemingly insurmountable.