______ LEAH LOCKETT
I still remember that thought racing through my mind, that feeling of helplessness and shock.
The doctor had left the room to give us a minute. I looked frantically at Mark. I knew it was not good. The doctor came back in and explained that I had a complicated miscarriage. We went into that appointment naïve, assuming that it would be an exciting visit, a reason to celebrate—three months into the start of a new life. Instead, I had to suppress the tears and sobs as I took in the news that not only was I having a miscarriage, but I also needed surgery that could be risky. Moreover, we could not even try to have kids for a long while, as there was a small chance I could get cancer. I went to the appointment with such happy excitement, And when I finally got into the car to leave, I let out all the emotions I had been holding in. It was devastating.
The Providence of God in Suffering
One of the many things I remember from that day were the thoughts running through my mind as I wept in the car on the way home. One of the things that the Lord brought to mind is something I will never forget. I reflected on how I was so thankful I had been attending a Bible Study at a church nearby because I just knew that if God could use someone as evil as Nebuchadnezzar to accomplish His Will (we had been studying Kings and Prophets in the Old Testament), God could use this devastating loss to accomplish what He wanted to in my life. Now I realize that may seem like a very strange thing to be thinking of at the time. And in a way, it was. But it was true.
The Inevitability of Suffering
It has been said before that if you are a Christian, you are either currently in a season of suffering, coming out of a season of suffering, or about to walk into a season of suffering. And that has definitely rang true in my life. Whether you are dealing with a physical condition, a time of depression or deep emotional pain, a season of waiting, financial troubles, enduring unjust treatment by others, gossip or slander about you at the workplace or about someone you love, the list could go on and on. Suffering is inevitable. And many times, it feels unfair. Or maybe is unfair or unjust. You are just trying to follow the Lord and do what it right, yet difficult things keep happening in your life.
A Faithful God in Times of Suffering
Recently, the Lord brought my attention to the book of Habakkuk. Though it is one of the lesser known books of the Bible, the truth, very similar to the truth I had rehearsed back in 2010 on that painful car ride home, rings true today:
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes be tread on my high places…”
– Habakkuk 3:17-19
Habakkuk converses (or rather complains) with God throughout the first few chapters of the book. He is frustrated and does not understand God’s ways, and why God allows the things that He does. In the end, Habakkuk’s heart is changed, and he is able to recognize that God is faithful, merciful and just. He is our strength through whatever we are facing!
It is one of the many lessons the Lord taught me during that difficulty time. And if I’m honest, what He continues to teach me through the hardships I face today. God brought about good in a very difficult season of suffering. I learned more about who God is, in a way I never would have learned without that hard time of physical, emotional and spiritual pain and suffering.
What are your “high places” today? Many times, we want to get rid of whatever it is that is causing our suffering. We want a shortcut. We want to fix it, or we want God to act and take it away. But just as God graciously taught me through that hard time over 11 years ago, He wants to make our feet like the deer’s and help us to walk on our high places. The question is, will we trust Him?
Rejoice in the Lord today, friend! He is your strength in whatever your “high place”.