A set time

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by emeraldctyangel, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. emeraldctyangel

    emeraldctyangel
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    for favor?

    Tell me what you know about this.

    The reason I ask is because six years ago I lost my 12 year old son in an accident. I spent the following year being pruned of the things I didnt need anymore, and as painful as it was, I was relieved to not carry around some of those burdens. Life has been okay since then but I know it can be better.

    If youve experienced your season of God's blessing and favor to rise above medocrity and go places you have never even dreamt, tell me how you got there. I feel kind of dumb for hanging on to such hope for this long. As if I had done something wrong and I should just accept my fate of being immersed in this great sadness. It is supposed to lessen...or that is what I hear.

    If you are not there yet, tell me how you abide in the word until your season arrives. What is gained by being on such a short lease? Is it true that such great sorrow is often overcome by wonderous joy?

    I realize this may be vague...so please dont drop the Bible on my head or launch this thread into something else.

    Let us start slow, with intelligent conversation...really I am looking for some idea on how to handle the years of nothing changing but the scenery, no matter how much I try and no matter how much I let go and let God.
     
  2. mcdirector

    mcdirector
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    I don't know if this is what you are asking about, but I've been clinging to many verses of late. Isaiah 61:1-4 NASB has been among them.
    Is this the favorable year of the Lord? I don't know. I do know it's the year He has chosen to break down the ancient ruins in my life - that begin for me in my childhood and go back, I don't know how many generations. It's a journey I'd rather not have started on and would rather not finish, but I'm clinging to the fact that He WILL be glorified. AND I will be free from captivity.

    So, I'm not of any help, I know. But you are not alone in your pruning.
     
  3. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
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    This ain't about me, because I don't think I deserve anything from anyone. I'm a certified you-know-what in character and life.
    But this is about my wife.
    My wife whom I have wronged greatly in those days when I quit going to church and fellowshipping with saints, wronged in ways you can only probably read about in novels.
    She raised our kids when I should have been there but wasn't, eking out a pitiful living as a seamstress, missed meals so our kids can eat, walked miles to and from a customer so she can save the fare, and she and my children slept in a 20'x20' room which served as bedroom, living room, and dining room, with a small black and white 13" tv and a small battery powered transistor radio as the only means of entertainment.
    And throughout all these she remained faithful to her Savior, faithful to me, never spoke ill of me to our children, and when all the whipping and the chastising from the Master finally broke me and sent me back to my family, she welcomed me as if nothing happened ! As if nothing happened !
    As if I didn't walk out on them for 12 years !!

    Well, not only did God bring back her family to her, God brought her here to the land of the free and the home of the brave, where she sleeps on a mattress and bed, eats three square meals a day, earns enough money to satisfy her needs and wants, and rides a car to work each day. She has seen places which in our country we only see in films and tv. She has met, dined and made friends with people she never even thought she would meet, dine with, and make friends with.

    Her life reminds me of Job.

    Emptied, hurt, and then filled.
     
  4. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    1. Right now, I'm reading Ravi Zacharias' new book The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives. Here's an apt quote:

    "His[God] design for your life pulls together every thread of your existence into a magnificient work of art."

    2. A lot of things do not make sense right now, but the Grand Weaver is at work, creating a wonderful end product (James 5:11). Hang in there.
     
  5. emeraldctyangel

    emeraldctyangel
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    yes

    I know it is possible. I am assured that via the Bible. I just want to know how to cope until it is my season.

    I lost my son when my children decided to go live with their father. Just the fact that I couldnt see them daily was mind boggling, but I tried to be fair. I mean, if it was okay for him to see them over the summer and miss them all the rest of the year long, then why would it be any different for me. Besides, they had never spent much time with their dad and his HUGE family as he decided to check out of our lives really early. I thought I was doing a good thing for them. Trying not to be selfish.

    B died in an accident while he was there, our lives were uprooted in ways you could only know if you walked in these shoes. So I tried to heal my wounds and seek shelter with the Lord. He was supposed to soothe my broken heart and I was supposed to learn my purpose. I looked around for something to put this energy into, and became active in the church, active in volunteer work, worked on my education, worked hard on my relationship with my children, and tried to be the person I needed to be, the one living in the word.

    I figured that life's bounty would eventually land on my doorstep. But as full as my life is, as busy as I can make it, it still feels empty. And each time I reach out to really make that different, hit a wall. It feels very much as if I am nailed in place. So what do I do now? Im tired of feeling frustrated. There has to be more to this.
     
  6. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    I used to wonder the same thing about my own life. For many years and still from time to time, I would wonder...."Is this all there is to my life?" or "Where's my golden ticket to life's glories?" or "When do all of these gray days go away?"

    I, like you, figured that life's bounty would eventually land on my doorstep......until God revealed to me that life is the bounty.

    Each day is a gift that I do not deserve. Each day there is a pearl for me to discover. Last week, one of my 4th graders drew a picture of me at recess and put it on my desk. It said, "You are my most favorite teacher and I love you!"

    This morning, on the way to work, I was confessing my sin to God and there appeared a rainbow in the sky. I realized that it was a symbol of God's promise and that one of His promises was to cast my sin as far as the east is from the west.

    A few days ago, my mother and I started laughing over something very stupid and we couldn't stop. She and I don't laugh together very often.

    You are going to have to stop looking for the brass ring of life and look for the blessings in the moment.

    Life is not a Hallmark card. It's gritty, real, painful, and the bible says that life is a vapor!!

    Look for the small blessings each day and smile and thank God aloud for them. You will soon find that the bounty of life is in the living.
     
  7. Steven2006

    Steven2006
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    That was a wonderful post.
     
  8. mcdirector

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    As Scarlett frequently does - give us wonderful insights. :D

    I do think that pruning is part of life. It is part of what keeps us healthy.
     
  9. Helen

    Helen
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    dear emeraldctyangel,

    I was in the hospital recovering from the (at the time) world's youngest total knee replacement, in my mid-twenties, when a friend gave me Phillip Keller's book, "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23".

    Yes, I highly, highly recommend this book, but that aside, there is something I want to mention which I learned from it.

    The "table" the shepherd prepares is not one with plates and silverware, but rather the mountain ranges, the table lands, where the sheep will graze for the summer. The shepherd goes up in the spring to remove noxious weeds and make sure the water springs are running clear.

    Then, in late spring he leads his flock up. And they must travel through the ravines, where the water is, to get there. These ravines are, indeed, valleys of the shadows of death, for storms can sweep in suddenly, and predators are on the lookout for strays. The shepherd has his hands full, but this is still the safest and surest way to the rich greenness of the table lands.

    And so Christ leads us, also, through these valleys. Sometimes there is a real death involved, such as there was with your precious son, and sometimes the death is only a constant threat, or the death of dreams or finances, or whatever. But if we are to reach those tablelands safely, we must stick VERY close to our beloved Shepherd.

    In July of 1991 my husband of nineteen years walked out on me and our six children, five of whom are adopted special case kids. Just left. Never looked back, did not keep in contact with them. I trudged through that deep, dark valley for nine years as a single parent with some very difficult medical problems presented by these children. I think I cried the entire first year.

    In 1998 I was doing some science proofing for authors to help them get their publications ready for submission to major science journals. One fellow I had heard of and deeply respected asked me to look over his article and I refused. He was in physics, astronomy and geology and my best fields were in biology and genetics. He finally pursuaded me. He was 12,000 miles away in Australia, so I figured I was safe. Phone calls from him increased and gradually be became wonderful friends.

    I became Mrs. Barry Setterfield seven years ago this month. Out of the ravine? Out of the valley of the shadow of death? Oh my yes! I won't go into all the details, but I never thought life could be like this, or a marriage, ever. I thank God daily.

    But I don't know if I would appreciate Barry as much as I do had I not had the experience before. God knew what He was doing. He knew what He was allowing. It was years of pain I would never wish on my worst enemy, but God knew what He was doing and I am grateful now.

    NO ONE can replace your son. But please keep in mind your son has only 'moved.' He has only changed residences. You will see him again in heaven and all will be well. Every tear will be gone.

    Hold on to the Lord in faith. Know that He truly does know what He is doing. And He loves you far, far more than you know. Pray often and be willing to be silent often, listening. Stay close to Him and you will safely arrive on the mountain top, where it is lush and the waters clear and crystal.

    He is faithful.
     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    My life has played out quite the opposite. I walked in the season of favor for years. All I had to do was walk through the right doors and God blessed.

    Until a couple of years ago when I felt the years of God's "non-favor" came into my life. Yet now as I sort through things, I know that God's seasonings only put me deeper into the knowledge of His Sovereignty and love for me. I lost a lot of things--my father, a job that I loved, a lot of relationships.

    I hurt.

    But in that time of pain, I know God was stripping me and bringing me away from complacency to the knowledge that He is God, He loves me, and knows me and strives to deepen that relationship.

    Indeed, when the season ends, I look forward to the next!
     
  11. Aaron

    Aaron
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    Before you read any other book (other than the Bible) you need to read Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. Trust me. Just get it and read it.
     
  12. TaterTot

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    I am so sorry you lost a child. I cannot imagine that kind of pain, but I think you are in a good company of folks who understand pain and the need to cling to the Father. Stay faithful, as hard as it is. Sometimes we have to look for the blessings and the favor - they are there.

    Here is a passage that I cling to in my times of hurting.

    from Lamentations 3

    19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
    the bitterness and the gall.

    20 I well remember them,
    and my soul is downcast within me.

    21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

    22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.

    23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

    24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him."

    25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
     
  13. SaggyWoman

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    One thing I read at the start of my turmoil that helped me is David Jeremiah's Life Wide Open.
     
  14. emeraldctyangel

    emeraldctyangel
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    Well some people know what I am talking about

    Helen, yes! That is it! You hit it on the mark. Were you so busy during these times of preparation that you had little time to feel frustrated? I just keep plugging away, hoping for the best, but getting tired because not much really changes.

    SG...so what do you do to keep up attitude where it needs to be? What keeps you going?

    Scarlett...small blessings like...oh look I have a toothbrush AND toothpaste? There was never any indication in my OP that I was looking to hit the jackpot anyway. This is a test of patience, I was simply looking for some tips on how to make it through it all. Im not interested in rainbows, just figments in the sky. I hear thank you enough. I am not whining about being under appreciated. I just sat through a sermon on a season of favor and wondered if there was anyone here who had gone through something like that.

    You apparently have no idea what I am talking about if you sit in the cheap seats and think someone asking questions is looking for the fast track to some brass ring. The very fact that I am still here is a sign of God's hands on my life...for I serve in the military and have been put in some situations where that would have been my last breath. I think I know what 'gritty and painful' is and I hope that you never see it from my POV.
     
  15. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    You are always favored by God. You possess the righteousness of Christ. God can do nothing but respond positively to His own righteousness.

    So the question isn't, if you are a believer, am I lacking the favor of God? That is impossible. The believer always has the favor of God.

    Your season is Christ. That is your season. Not your surroundings or the events in your life.

    Suppose you were a man sentenced to life in prison in a super-max prison. Can that man have the favor of God? Of course, by being saved. But his condition isn't going to change. He will die there. Even more so the man on death row. Many men have become saved and executed....with the favor of God.

    History records great grief never relieved for many believers. Tremendous suffering without relief. Should they conclude they did not have the favor of God? God forbid, they were His and in Christ they have His immesurable and eternal favor.

    You are places have have never been. You are in Christ. No human apart from a believer and certainly NO ANGEL has ever been so privileged.

    There is no mediocrity in Christ. None.

    Now some Preachers and many believers will convince you that unless you are experiencing "Moses on the Mountain Top" events, you have entered the world of hum drum Christianity where the "favor" of God is absent. How ludicrous.

    Or they may wish to convince you that unless you are at some financial, social or emotional point of heightened personal benefit that God is not blessing you and you are not favored. Balderdash.

    Be confident in the promises of God not the wanting evaluations of others who wish to impose on the world their own life's experiences as the standards of God's blessing.

    "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil".

    Your normal grief of loss may last a long time. This is not evidence of a lack of abundance in life or in God. It is evidence of love for a child.

    Your questions are:

    Are you focused on growing spiritually?

    Are you doing what you can do to enhance your own life without demanding from God what He was given you the responsibility for and capacity to do?
     
  16. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    My sincere apologies for distressing you. You have completely misunderstood me. That's the problem sometimes when we can't see each other face to face, only via the internet.

    I'll take the blame for not being clear.

    Peace-
     
  17. Hopeful

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    I have to ask you if you went through grief counseling after your loss. I ask because I am CURRENTLY going through a Christian-based group grief-recovery session, as well as individual counseling sessions with a Christian counselor specializing in grief issues. Although I have had my share of "seasons" of both favor and pain and thought I had dealt with the issues of loss surrounding those seasons, I am learning a LOT in these sessions--particularly the GROUP sessions.

    The first thing they "taught us" in these grief sessions is that NO ONE knows what your pain feels like--even if they lost a child, too. Your pain and loss are unique to you, because no one has your particular set of life circumstances. Your loss cannot and should not be compared to anyone else's--because it is YOURS. And you have THE RIGHT TO FEEL YOUR PAIN--in fact, NOT feeling your pain would, in a sense, deny the love you felt for your child.

    The second thing they "taught us" was that you can and must be honest with God--He already knows how you feel anyway. He knows you hurt; He knows you're lost and searching; He knows you're tired; He knows it all. And I'm guessing that He also knows that you have a LOT of anger still....and I say that because you expressed it STRONGLY in your post back to Scarlett. And, you know, it's "okay" for you to feel that anger, too. God can "take it"--He is the same God who listened as all the saints from the Old and New Testaments told Him over and over again how hurt and lost and scared and hopeless THEY felt.

    It's been a long time...maybe you feel like you should "be over" your season of pain and "into" your season of favor by now....but that's probably because of everything everyone has told you trying to make you feel better by denying your very real pain. In my group sessions, there is a couple that lost their child NINE years ago. They are JUST NOW going through therapy because they are hurting in a way similar to what you describe.....and notice I said "similar to", because I cannot compare their pain to yours. I don't know how you feel...I don't KNOW how THEY feel, either. I just know they express pain and hurt that is gut-wrenching to experience as we go through these sessions. And I know they express a strong, strong desire for their season of favor as well.

    My own seasons of pain have been --still are--very long. I've been in the midst of this current "sad season" now for over five years. There was one big loss of one kind or another on an almost monthly basis, culminating in the death of my husband last year, and other losses keep piling on top of that. I have had no time to recover or properly grieve each individual loss before another one hit. I kept busy during most of that time out of necessity, because I had to daily care for my husband. Now that he is gone, I struggle daily to find a reason why God has chosen to keep me here on earth without him.

    I am blessed with fabulous friends and several family members that love and support me unconditionally, and I take heart in the comfort they have brought me. And, like Scarlett mentioned, I DO look for the little joys to get me through each day, because I literally would have died of heartache by now without those little bits of joy God has given to me all along the way. But I reached a point a couple of months ago where I knew I needed some serious assistance to help me deal with the tremendous sense of loss and purposelessness I am feeling. These grief counseling sessions are something I strongly recommend. It is NOT weakness or evidence of lack of faith in God if you turn to "professional" support--in fact, I am thanking God daily for these people He is surrounding me with now through which HE is speaking and readying me for what I hope will be MY "season of favor" when it is my time.

    God bless you as you deal with this.
     

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