“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?”-Job 2:10b
The Refinement of Loss
We were married four years and our son was two when I took the next positive pregnancy test. I was elated and raced to the clinic to have the blood test confirm the pregnancy, and it did. Baby #2 was on the way and I was especially thrilled because two of my closest friends had just announced their pregnancies. It was a girlfriend's dream come true!
Just hours later I started to bleed. I frantically called my doctor and he recommended bed rest for the weekend. I sobbed and worried as my little toddler seemed confused by my sudden bed rest and my husband looked equally bewildered. We felt utterly helpless.
I willed myself to stay still, thinking perhaps if I didn’t move, the bleeding would stop. I prayed, I begged, and I pleaded with God. I asked for a miracle but the bleeding never stopped. I returned to the clinic on Monday to check the levels in my blood and later in the afternoon, the Dr. confirmed my greatest fear. Our baby was gone. As quickly as it came, it was gone. The experience left me crushed, broken and bewildered. I assumed God would rescue me, yet He didn’t.
The next Sunday at church I was hit with the first wave of grief. I felt out of control, and when the grief ambushed me in a public place, I didn’t know what to do, except cry and pray. Sweet friends circled around and comforted me with their prayers and love.
It was the first time since meeting God where I was confronted with the question, “If God is good, why did this bad thing happen?” I had seen plenty of pain in my youth but since coming to know Jesus, life was pretty rosy!
I had two options at this point. The first option: get mad at God and walk away. In my grief, I wondered, maybe He wasn’t trustworthy after all? Option two: I could run to Him with my pain. God placed a wise woman in my life who helped me process my pain and heartache and still see God as good. My grief forced me to run to God and I was met with unending compassion, love and security.
As we enter a season of refining, pain, or a new trial, it’s imperative to examine our view of God. How we see Him, will affect how we relate to Him. Does it mess with our theology a little when we look at this statement in Job? “Shall we accept good things from the hand of God and never bad?”- Job 2:10b How do we live this truth out with grace?
In His Goodness He Allows Trials
God is complex because in His goodness He still allows us to face difficult situations. But it’s in these trials or training, He provides a way of escape. He offers Himself. He wants to reveal something new about His character. Perhaps He’s teaching us trust, patience, endurance. Maybe He’s increasing our faith. We can have a greater revelation of Him if we choose to move closer, during the training process.
“Answer me Lord out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me.”- Psalm 69
God always responds to a heart focused on Him.
A key to surviving a refining season, is not to focus on outcomes. Our focus needs to be God, alone. When we choose to allow the pain of the process to draw us to Him, He then reveals more about Himself, which results in deeper trust.
The Enemy is out to destroy us, but God desires to build something beautiful within us. However, we do not get to choose the process.
“Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on Him to guide you.” -Proverbs 3:5
Those are God’s plans and He knows how He to shape and mold us best. He’s not as much interested in our comfort as He’s interested in our growth.
Things to ponder about God:
Are we leaning into God?
Are we surrendered to the refining process, no matter how painful it is?
Do we recognize God’s ability to rescue us?
Are we allowing the pain to draw us closer to Him?
Have we surrendered to His plans, and set aside our own?
Do we desire to grow in the knowledge and understanding of God?
When we understand God is good, we can accept the bad that comes. We are able to see He desires us to experience a greater revelation of His character. He uses trials to refine us, but He always comforts us through the process, by offering us Himself.
Are you still struggling?
Maybe this will help.
I’ve included a guide to help you navigate your refining season. Click on the image below and leave your name and email so I know where to send it. Then head to your email to confirm your subscription and you’ll find a free printable resource at the bottom of your email. Just click on “free gift.”
Digital design by Patricia Tiffany Morris at www.patriciatiffanymorris.com