Off and on I have shared with you a few of the hardships I have experienced the last 3 years.
The death of my son. Then immediately after his death I needed more emotional support than ever, but instead was further alienated and impacted by terrible family drama, followed by the estrangement of a precious family member. Shortly after that I experienced an ankle injury that took 8 months to fully heal. I thought I was out of the woods once my ankle healed, but no. Sitting around waiting for my ankle to heal led to my back atrophying and further caused issues with a previously existing back injury, which then led to over six months of sciatica (also referred to as psychotica because of its ability to drive a reasonable person to utter insanity).
After some time I could commiserate with Job’s predicament.
Throughout the hard times I asked, begged, and sometimes in frustration demanded healing and relief. I cried buckets of tears. I wanted, needed, an escape from the agony and the heartache. I wanted a speedy recovery, a prompt delivery, anything, to get me past the immediate pain.
For nearly 3 years I could concentrate on little more than escaping the pain and misery.
The story in Jeremiah 28:1-29:32 is about the Israelites’ complaints in the midst of their misery. They had been captured by Babylon, exiled far from their homes, forced into slavery, their temple was destroyed, and their culture and identity were rapidly deteriorating. They felt lost, and wanted to know when God was going to free them from their terrible predicament. Daily they anticipated God’s rescuing hand, wondering when He would finally show up.
God heard them and sent them a message through the prophet Jeremiah.
The message went something like this: Stay put, settle in, live your lives. Buy homes, marry, plant gardens, and have lots of children and grandchildren. God’s response was not what they expected. It had nothing to do with getting them out of their situation. Basically, the message said for them not to expect any rescuing or anything of the sort anytime soon. They had things God wanted them to learn, and these things would take quite some time. A few generations to be exact.
We often struggle with our circumstances when our lives become disrupted in some way or when God strategically places difficult people in our lives. We buck like unbroken horses, and we make everything we do about getting back to our sweet spot. Often, God’s fully in on our disruption and deliberately keeps us from that sweet spot, allowing our affliction to bring on new growth.
The goal is to get us to that place we should have already been, in order to make the most of our potential, until we graduate from the University of Higher Learning.
This tutelage can take many, many years. God’s always interested in the process to get us to that graduation date. It’s in that process, in the naturally occurring ebb and flows making the best out of the life we are living, that we will see gradual changes and development. The process from point A to point B, that’s where our greatest learning is made.
God wants us to become people whose hearts mirror the heart of Jesus, but because of our strong inclination to be self-serving, He does not allow us to escape the process He must take us through to develop us into those people.
As I look back at those horribly difficult three years I am awed by the amount of growth God created in my life. Not that I am ready to graduate from UHL, far from it.
Dare I say I am thankful for those brutal days?
Yes, I dare to and I do say so. I am thankful because the process of getting through some of the toughest days of my life has brought me to a new facet in my relationship with God. While I was going through those times, the last thing on my mind was to be thankful for the suffering, but I did say thanks as we are commanded to be thankful for all things.
I don’t get it but thank you God, you must have a great reason for all of this.
I mostly mouthed the words with very little heart behind them.
Today, I praise God for His wisdom, perseverance, and loving kindness, in taking me, mostly dragging me, down the rocky road of higher learning.
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2013-2014 ©http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com. ♛
2 responses to “The University of Higher Learning”
I love this post! I can really identify with this. Dragging… There is a word 🙂 . I’ve been to the point of saying, “God, I don’t get it. I know where I’m supposed to be.. I see myself but I cannot get there. I’m waiting for you.” God didn’t budge 🙂 . I still am not where I need to be and yet I am there.. it’s not where I want to be but it’s where he wants me to be. I like neat and simple not what appears to be chaos. Thank you for sharing this. I needed it. 🙂 Be good to yourself. And take care!
Thank you garden2day. You speak for many. God’s ways aren’t always “neat and simple” but they do tend to get the job done, though with stubborn folks like me, it is a painfully slow process. Blessings to you!