Beauty in Adversity
"Where you lead me, I will follow," I responded, my feet bloody and my body bruised. It was the Valley of the Shadow of Death – the shadowlands. The winds of change are merciless and I'm falling down. I don't have the strength to get back up. I losing my will to fight.
This morning my favorite sunflower greeted the Eastern sky with a bright shining sunbeam of her own. You would never know how fiercely the western winds had pushed against her all weekend long. For three days the winds blew hard and all around her, sunflowers dropped their heavy heads, petals wrinkling and whirling to the ground.
But this one… She is standing tall, facing the Sun, and beaming!
She reminds me of my friend, who was cruelly attacked by a wicked person over this past weekend. My friend has lived a hard life and has weathered many seasons of adversity. When we talked yesterday she shared her story and I wept for her. My heart is still broken, but true to form, she is SHINING!
My friend doesn't talk about what she lost, but about Christ and all that He's done in her life. She describes the promise He gave her, right before the attack, and how she KNOWS that her family will be extra blessed, post-attack. She's seen it so many times before, she can barely contain her delight.
The same adversity that would have knocked other good men and women down has lifted this woman and caused her to soar, to rise up, to see from Heaven's perspective!
What makes her soar on the winds of adversity? I have witnessed her positioning herself every day, on the promises of God. She throws herself into the abyss of despair, eager to find Christ, even there. Her spirit is strong, as a result. She and I have prayed together, always with promises of God. We have both seen miracles and deliverance.
I want to shine, like this sunflower today, even after the winds of adversity have knocked me off kilter. Even in winter, when my body is old and it feels I have not much left to give, may the kernals of wisdom I've nurtured be sustenance for someone. May I discover beauty in death.
Not everyone is as resilient as my friend, and it's not your fault if you are weak. There are some of us who need to be carried, nurtured, and just made to feel secure, even for years at a time.
I want to bless your spirit today, if the winds of adversity are blowing your way. I want to bless you with provision in the trials, seeing beauty in adversity, and choosing love today. Blessings are real and they result in tangible changes. You can receive them simply by saying 'yes'.
From Psalm 108, I pray:
"O God… Give us help against the foe; for the help of man is vain. With God will shall do bravely and he will trample down all our foes."
And from Isaiah 61, I declare:
"No more shall men call you 'Forsaken,' or your land 'Desolate,' but you shall be called 'My Delight,' and your land, 'Espoused.' For the Lord delights in you, and makes your land his spouse."
From Psalm 146, I declare:
"Put no trust in princes, in mortal men in whom there is no help. Take their breath, they return to clay and their plans that day come to nothing.
He is happy who is helped by Jacob's God, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who alone made heaven and earth, the seas and all they contain.
It is he who keeps faith forever, who is just to those who are oppressed. It is he who gives bread to the hungry, the Lord, who sets prisoners free, the Lord who gives sight to the blind, who raises up those who are bowed down, the Lord, who protects the stranger and upholds the widow and orphan.
It is the Lord who loves the just but thwarts the path of the wicked…"
If only you could see you as I see you… your reckless faith, even though it seems like you're hanging on by a ragged thread, makes you STUNNING in My eyes! If you only knew the hidden value of suffering and the incredible blessings that are yours. Justice is coming, my dear one. Leap into the abyss of despair. You will find Me there.
I see you. I hear you crying out for justice and being thrown to the wolves. Tell your story, sweet one. Start a chain reaction of spontaneous prayer and amplify your voice as this cry rings through the heavens and reaches even down into the bowels of the earth. Tell your story – that's how you walk out into the Light.
With all my love,
Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.
Today Susan helps people write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into their future, creating new family legacies.
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