On a clear, sunny morning she walked into the living room, sat down in her favorite chair, and put her head in her hands. “How can I go through this?” she moaned to herself. “Why should anyone be expected to bear such a burden?”
Anger, hurt, disappointment, bitterness, discouragement, and also, that ugly little word, doubt — they were all there happening to her. Things like this only happened to other people, never to her. What went wrong? Why was she being singled out to bear such a burden?
Opening her Bible to look for something to give her strength, she chanced on a piece of paper on which she had made notes on verses of Scripture years before. She noticed that one note referred to Psalm 13, but it had no relationship to the other verses on the paper. How did it get there? She began to read the psalm.
How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? Forever?
How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
“Hmmm, that’s just where I am,” she mused. “Here I am in the back side of the desert, and God has forgotten even who I am. Talk about hiding His face from me! My enemy is making mincemeat of me, and all I get is a blank wall.”
Consider and hear me, O Lord my God:
Lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him;
And those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
Her heart reached out to God as she continued reading, trying to touch God; Could it be that He was trying to deliver her a message through the thick veil of pain?
But I have trusted in thy mercy;
my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation
I will sing unto the Lord because He hath dealt bountifully with me.
Slowly, the tears of healing began to fall. Was her trial over? No. Was the pain erased? No. Did everything miraculously come up roses? No. However, she began to feel the hidden inner strength that comes through trusting and believing that she is in God’s hand and He is working His will through her.
“Yes, Jesus, I have trusted in Your mercy many times, and I’m trusting in Your mercy again today. My heart shall rejoice in your salvation, the salvation from myself! I will sing unto the Lord because You have dealt bountifully with me and showed me today that though I can be hurt, abused, scorned, distrusted, passed over, misused, lied upon, and cheated, that I have the ability to minimize any hurt that comes my way. Others can inflict upon me all manner of things, but I choose how it will affect me and my walk with You. I have the final say in how deeply I’m offended. Yes, Lord, I choose to trust in Your mercy and Your grace, and I’ll not let anything destroy me. I’m going through, not by might, not by power, not by politics, not by popularity, not by pretending, not by bitterness, not by anger, not by revenge, not by self-pity, but by the power of Your Spirit.”
Glancing again at the notes, she recognized Ephesians 6:14.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wither with ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
She arose from her chair and walked back into faith, truth, and life, knowing that the One who had endured all sorrows, grief, and pain was with her.
Many years later, after hearing of her struggle, someone said to her, “It must have been a terrible time! How did you stand it?”
“Yes,” she answered, “I guess it could have destroyed me, but I wouldn’t let it. I chose to allow the Spirit of God to comfort me.”
Who was she? Just an ordinary woman trying to make it through and do her part. She may have suffered the loss of a child. Perhaps she had lost her best friend. Perhaps she was going through the breakup of her marriage. Perhaps she learned someone she trusted had betrayed her. Perhaps she was just going through a time of searching for her real self. Yes, she was like you and me, or maybe she was you or me.