I know full well there are seasons in life. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 speaks of them. I learn from verse one that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. Even more insight into the norms of life are found in verse 4, saying “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
I was reminded of this truth as I read through Job this morning in my Chronological Bible. The life and story of Job is rich in instruction, and equally frightening as we all hope not to have a season like he experienced. Talk about laughing and dancing turning into weeping and mourning! It leaves us quaking in our boots to consider that a similar season might befall us!
But what if it does come? What if our good days become bad days? And our praise of the Father become pleas for His mercy?What becomes our testimony then?
As I read Job 16:7 , I was reminded of the challenges I faced during an intense season of suffering back in 2013-2014. That verse says, “Surely, O God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household. You have bound me- and it has become my witness; my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.”
Now my season was not to the degree of devastation that Job experienced, but I could relate. And I still remember one of my biggest challenges during that time…….interacting and responding to others while inwardly I was weeping and mourning.
Normally, I am an upbeat, positive person. But I found going through a “season” such as I was, left me emotionally devastated. It was so difficult to just get it together and go to work, or anything else public for that matter. All I wanted to do was retreat! I craved the safety and comfort of isolation.
What made it so difficult was the fact of realizing the responsibility of my witness and testimony during that time. I knew I had to believe, and to trust, and to worship, and to thank God regardless of how I felt. I wanted so much to suffer well! I wanted my witness and testimony to not reflect what I felt inwardly. I did not want to reflect an Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh character) type of persona to the world. But what is one to do?!
As my friends would ask how I was or about any updates, I remember giving them what info I could, which was usually little to no positive progress, but I would try to end with what I knew was true in my head,whether I was necessarily feeling it or not. “God is infinitely good, and we are infinitely loved”.
All I knew back then was that I did not want my witness and testimony to testify against me! I wanted to maintain the eternal truth- yes, He is good, and I am dearly loved! I kept reminding myself of Psalm 27:13-14, “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
And I have waited. And I have seen! Life is very different in our home these two years later. I can testify, back then and today, I see the goodness of the Lord!
It has been a long and difficult journey at times. But I know that a testimony is worth it’s weight in gold when we can maintain our God glorifying witness even as we suffer long and hard. I did not achieve my goal at times of staying positive, but I just kept going…..and trying. Stay strong dear ones to maintain your witness and testimony. I know how hard it is, but He is worth it!