Thursday, April 10, 2014

When Victory Demands All You've Got

If you've been reading my blogs, you know I've been working through a Beth Moore study called Believing God.  I finished it a few days ago and loved every minute of it.  The 16th chapter of the book is called Believing God When Victory Demands Your All.  It was a chapter that resonated so clearly and so genuinely with me that I wrote probably an entire page of notes on that chapter alone.

She spoke of Joshua and of the Israelites in battle.  Almost immediately a quote jumped off the page for me:

"The Israelites had to step out in faith and commit to the battle before they received any word from God concerning the outcome..."

And aren't we doing the same?  Haven't we been trying to keep our ears fixed on His voice and follow the path we feel Him leading us down?  Even though we have no idea what the outcome is going to look like, that's exactly what we've tried to do.  There are two possible scenarios here when it comes to the outcome of our battle.  And I don't put that word in quotes because what we've been through is most certainly a battle.  We've been beat up, beat down, stripped down to nothing.  We've walked through this battle of infertility and loss for years now.  There have been times, both in the past and recently, when we've thought maybe defeat in this realm was all we were destined to experience.  Scenario A - the walls of our infertility are gonna come crashing down and once the dust settles, we will be holding our "magnum opus" in our arms, or Scenario B - we will be defeated once again and maybe more devastatingly so this time.  But either way I'm certain we will be awestruck by the unwavering power of God in us.  Because He promised to never leave us or forsake us.  He said His power was made perfect in our weakness...

But there has been new life breathed into me and Jonathan recently.  A second wind if you will.  And I can only believe that it comes directly from His power manifesting itself in us.  It is only Him who can give us such a renewed since of hope and the grace to not grow debilitatingly bitter as we've walked this long and winding road of disappointment and loss.

"The perfect setup for catastrophic defeat is also the perfect setup for miraculous victory!"

Oh how my heart LONGS for that miraculous victory in this.  And this most certainly is the perfect setup for either catastrophic defeat or incredibly marvelous victory isn't it?  A success here would be the answer to not only the prayers of mine and Jonathan, but also so many others.  What a volley of praise there will be when we DO get to announce this victory!  I get chills just thinking about it actually...

"Sometimes God requires so much of us just so we can experience the unmatched exhilaration of partnering in divine triumph..."

One thing I've had to learn in all of this is that I may or may not be able to pin point a *reason* why things happen.  The quote "everything happens for a reason" is true, but there are times when we may never know what that reason is.  For His ways are higher than ours...His thoughts higher than our own.  But I *can* say that the build up...the anticipation associated with finding out whether this is a go or a no go really does connect me with Him on a deeper level.  I literally can't wait to see what He's going to do in this.  Because it will either be breathtaking victory where His glory will be blindingly bright, or devastating defeat where His power in me is manifested in the most perfect way that it can be...during the point in my life that I will surely experience my greatest point of weakness.  

There was a part in the book that literally brought me to tears (well...there were lots of those actually...).  Toward the end she speculates a little about God's timeline and His reasoning for doing things the way He does.  I can't explain it any better than she does:

"I'm not much for numerology, but the repetition of some numbers and their similar contexts can hardly be denied.  In Scripture seven is believed by many scholars to be the number of completion.  The creation account seems to be the paradigm.  The seven days and seven repetitions God required of the Israelites before He'd give them Jericho was a literal time frame for them, but it presents a figurative application for us.  Sometimes God requires us to follow a fair amount of repetition for a considerable amount of time until He deems a season complete.  Then all of the sudden He seems to do something profound or miraculous, and we can't figure out what changed..."

I'm not much for numerology myself, and I'm not superstitious.  But what I heard in my head is SEVEN.  Did you know that on June 2nd of this year Jonathan and I will have been married SEVEN years?  Did you know that this is will be the SEVENTH time we've made such a bold attempt to push through this infertility wall?  We've done the repetition thing.  We've been through our regime for so long now.  Going through the motions of similarity...following the plan...trying our hardest to say yes when He calls.  I can't help but feel like we are coming to the end of a "season" in our lives right now.  There is a feeling of completion and finality that is looming over us.  In 47 days this part of our journey will be over.  In something like 60 days, the last bit of this part of medical school really will be finished.  And then it's on to the next season...

My hope is solid and vivid and powerful.  There is no fear when I fix my eyes and mind and heart on Him.  When I falter (which I do often) those are the times that I lose my focus and begin speculating as to what might happen if He fails me.  And then I get snapped back into reality.  He's never failed me yet (right Mrs. Muz??)!  And I can't sit here and say that I believe there will come a day when He will.  We have prayed that if children were not in His will for us that He would take that desire away. But instead He has intensified it 100 fold over the past 5 1/2 years and I can only believe that the intensity with which He will be answering our prayers soon will be unbelievably miraculous...

"To Him who is ABLE to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power which is at work within us..."-Ephesians 3:20 

His power is most assuredly at work within me right now.  It's that buzz my insides have been feeling lately I think.  And if He's planning to do immeasurably more than I have asked or can  Talk about miraculous...

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