I am in a ladies Bible Study at church with about 15 other women studying, Jonah: Navigating a Life Interupted by Priscilla Shirer (my favorite teacher). I am loving how God is using it in my life. The things I am reading are exactly in step with what God is bringing up in my time with Him in the Word (reading through Genesis) and the things He is bring up in my thought life and conversations with people. I love it when He does this! Ok, here's what's going on.
It started about 2 weeks ago with a girl sharing her story at the Bible study I lead (going through Judges). She explained a time where she made a committment to God and 2 weeks after she made that committment, it became very hard to keep. She saw it as God testing her, a test to keep her word. She did and God totally blessed it in a ton of ways. But as she was sharing, the idea of testing kept nagging me. I have thought about testing a lot before and even have verses memorized about it, but something was different. For the next week, I kept thinking about it as well as other related things, like my recent blogs, willingness to do hard things if God asked, Abraham running, despite his physical discomfort to serve others (which ended up serving the Lord) and how God is able to open our eyes to what He wants to give us.
Then on Valentine's Day in my time with the Lord I came to Gen.22. The first verse says, "Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham" and it hits me like a ton of bricks. He is testing me. In three very specific ways but one very huge way. Before we got pregnant with Eden we were pursuing Embryo Adoption, otherwise known as snowflake adoption. Not because I so desperately wanted to be pregnant (I actually counted it a blessing to be able to have children without giving birth), but because there are 500,000 frozen little lives that need a home and a family that will care for them. But in order to have that, they need a womb. There was a whole process of God shaping my desires and helping me overcome my massive fear to go through some difficult procedures. He made it very clear we were to move forward with adopting a snowflake baby but we were not sure of the timing. (The story is under the category of Calling if you want to read it) Well, then the impossible happened and we got pregnant. My pregnancy was extremely uncomfortable and giving birth was awful. After 19 hours of labor they did a c-section and found the cord wrapped around Eden's neck 3 times and also twisted around her body.
After that embryo adoption was pretty much out of the question. But now I see that giving us Eden is a test. Will we still do what He has shown us He desires even though I know the pain and discomfort invovled? I wish I could say I totally jumped on board. No, it took till last night for me to surrender. This was extremely eye opening to me, I knew God was testing me and even in the face of failure, I still didnt want to. Like Priscilla puts it, my "want to" was all messed up. And then I realized that the more time I spend with God in His Word, the quicker I am to yield to Him even when I don't feel like it. Recently my times with Him have been cut to 30min. a day instead of 1-2 hours, and I can see the affects. Before, with longer connecting times with God, if He were to make it clear He was testing me to see if I would be obedient to Him in spite of pain, I would quickly yield. But now, my heart took its own sweet time in surrendering. Pretty motivating to spend more quality time with Him.
Well, now I'm rambling. But just excited to be tested by the Lord because it brings refinement and lets Christ be revealed. If you want to read more about God testing us, here's some verses:
* Exodus 20:20
* Judges 3:1 on
* Job 23:10
* Psalm 66:10
* Isaiah 48:10-11
* James 1:12
* 1 Peter 4:12
* 1 Chronicles 29:17