Having your faith tested can be like going through rigorous athletic training. It means traveling through the layers of emotions, as we learn to trust in what is unseen. It can mean laying up every cherished treasure, like the needs of our loved ones, and then trusting that God will protect them and love them as much as we do. It can mean standing on the cliff-edge of doom and then trusting that our unseen God will materialize to catch us when we are falling. It can mean traveling beyond what we know about true love from our damaged past relationships, to experience the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father. Ultimately, it means coming to the end of ourselves and everything that we hold dear and then trusting in the intentional love and goodness of Jesus to be our daily Savior.
It is one thing to talk about faith, but the heat and pressure can be tiring on the emotions when that faith is in action and life or death depend on what you will believe. Of course, our ultimate goal is to learn to rest and sleep through the storms, but it takes exercising our faith to reach that level of faith. God understands our uniqueness and what each person needs to be able to completely trust Him in a whole-hearted surrender. After a time of going through the advanced training of living by faith, God is always generous to give us moments or even extended seasons of rest, where we can enjoy some respite healing and refreshment.
There was one point when I was personally going through the most insane faith testing, by trusting in miracle money to show up to provide shelter for me and my family. It was exhausting for me after a while, to walk through the pressure of trusting God to care for us, when it looked impossible. I was going through an intense faith-training while learning to walk by faith against the opposing winds. I was using God’s promises to me to fight against the many fears and dreads whipping against me. God promised me that we would not end up homeless or without provision, yet in the natural, our circumstances looked to be impossible to survive. For weeks, I had to believe that provision would show up to pay for our hotel room, even though I could not see any logical way that it could happen. I was leaning on the Word of God to me with the deepest desperation of my life.
If I can be honest with you, after weeks of going through this testing and surrendering fear after fear, I was pretty tired and ready for some relaxation from the battle, like a cooldown that follows strenuous exercise. It was 2 nights before our reservation was expiring and once again, I did not have any foreseeable way to cover the cost of a new reservation. My soul was just crying out for a break at this point from walking through the testing of faith. I had no idea what we were going to do. But then out of nowhere, I was inspired with an idea to apply for some medical housing because one of my daughters needed to have some medical testing done. So I took a chance and applied online and then hoped for the best.
Now it was the morning that we had to check out of the hotel and I still didn’t know what we were going to do. By this time, I had been praying for hours for God to manifest the money that He promised us to cover more time at the hotel. Exactly 2 hours before our deadline to check out, I received a call from a medical housing place, saying that they had a short term room for us and to come right away to claim it. I cannot even tell you the amount of instant relief that phone call gave me. We packed up our belongings and then caught a ride to our next destination.
For an entire month, God blessed us with a cozy room in a medical housing facility, where we were able to rest and recover from our time of athletic faith training. It was truly wonderful. We were given plenty of food and God even gave us treasures and gifts during this stay. It was such a retreat for our souls to go from the heat of refinement and faith-testing to the immediate calm of relief.
The reason that I am sharing this specific story with you is that there is a devoted time of rest for you that comes after enduring the storms. Like Noah, God has remembered what you are going through and He is giving you a time of rest from the difficult storms that you have endured. The Hebrew name for Noah means ‘rest’. This will be a time to unload the pain of what you endured into the hands of God, while your soul recovers and prepares for the new thing that He has for you. This will be a beautiful time of special treatments with Jesus and indulgent soul healing of recovery and rest.
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and He sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.
Jesus is so good to us. After learning to walk through the storms with total trust in God, you receive the blessings of rejuvenation and recovery. My prayer for you today is that the Lord would bring you into a time of retreat from what you have been going through. I pray that this would be a time of lavish soul healing as you are able to relax and recover from the times of mental affliction and pressure. Balance is very important and we all need times of rest and recovery. A hard or painful time is followed by the much needed moments of cheerful relaxation. May you be refreshed and renewed, as you move from the intensity of pressure and into a calm.
Afflicted city, storm-battered, unpitied:
I’m about to rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
Lay your foundations with sapphires.
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