11/20/2017

Stacey Crawford

Have you ever found yourself in a season when something has happened and you are confident of a promise you have been given from God, but you are stuck somewhere in the middle? That is me right now. Something recently happened in my life that was hurtful and caused a lot of pain and brokenness. I am confident of the promise God has given to me, the promise that this season I am currently walking through is going to be one of my greatest testimonies later. So many others are going to need to hear my story, my struggle, and what I walked through. My pain is not in vain, because God is ultimately going to use my story for so much good. I’m excited about that! I want that! I desperately want what I am walking through to be used by God, and for God to be glorified.

But the reality is that I’m in the frustrating part of it all. The part where you have to keep pressing forward. The part where you pray and seek. The part where you have to often sit and wait. The season where you often wonder if this will ever end. The season where you just want to get through it, but recognize that God is calling you to something deeper in this moment. My dear friends, I am in the hard part! The part that I believe most of us don’t like to be in. The part that, if we’re all honest, we would try to avoid as often as we can. As humans, we don’t like to face trials. We don’t like the frustrating seasons, the seasons where God calls us to do the hard things. But when I look in the Bible, over and over again God reminds us that these seasons are often the most beneficial.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

James 1:2-4 NLT

Did you catch what he just said? Consider it joy when you face trials and hardships! That seems so unnatural to us. We want to just “get through” the tough seasons, but on the other hand, God is telling us to press in. When you go through those rough seasons, they are what you need to cause you to draw closer to Him, to grow in truth, and to become more and more like Christ. Trust me when I say I don’t like to go through these very tough and trying seasons. But even in the middle of the one I am currently in, I am seeing God’s grace and goodness every step of the way. I am seeing a change in my heart, a softening in my life, and the development of my character. I am honestly amazed at the way God is working in my heart and my life. It is incredible to me how God takes our mess, our brokenness, our trials, all of it, and makes it something beautiful. Is it hard in the middle of it? Most definitely! But it is worth it if it means that I am becoming more like Christ, and that someone else is going to be able to learn and grow because I had to walk through it. I don’t want to walk through this. It is hard, and there have been days when I have just wanted to stay in bed, but God keeps me going. I have to continually keep my eyes, my heart, and my mind focused on Him. He alone takes our brokenness and turns it into something beautiful! If you are in the middle of a tough season, I want to encourage you to press in and seek God. He is with you, will sustain you, and will remind you time and time again that He is going to use this for His glory.

Blessed is the person who keeps on going when times are hard. After they have come through hard times, this person will receive a crown. The crown is life itself.

The Lord has promised it to those who love him.

James 1:12 NIRV