You brought us into the net; you laid burdens on our backs; you let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a spacious place. Psalm 66: 11-12 NRSV
The verse before these speaks of being tested or tried by God. These two verses pretty much place a great deal on God's shoulders. It has been God who let us walk into the trap or the net. God has been the one to place this weight upon our shoulders. God has allowed others to step on us (I love the visual of letting people ride over our heads!). We go through both fire and water - even though they are opposites to one another, they can both be deadly by themselves. God never stops this from happening.
However, God brings us out to a wonderful place that is spacious. God give us room to breathe and stretch out after all that tortuous testing. God may allow those bad things to happen but that is not the end of the story for God.
This is not a comforting thought when we are actually being tested. I recently went through a trying time and I kept hearing folks say that God had a purpose to all that I was going through. Intellectually, I understood that. Faithfully, I was able to take what those folks were saying to heart. But there was an emotional and spiritual part of me that couldn't deal with it. I didn't want to hear that there was going to be a great ending. I was suffering and I was suffering right then. When you are feeling that burden on your shoulders, when people are walking on you, when you are going through fire or water, you don't really see the end of the story. All you can see is what is happening right then and there.
God brought the Israelites to a wonderful place. But they had to be threatened by the Egyptians, literally walk through water, be thirsty, be hungry and spend years wandering in the desert before they could come to the promised land. God did bring them to the promised land. However, they had to be tried and tested first.
What trials or tests do you see God giving you lately?
What do you think your spacious place is going to be?
Hang in there! God will not forget you or forsake you.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims