Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Against the Hard Rock

Pressed against the hard rock
Under immerse pressure
In the midst of trials
Often when most discomforted
An idea, brilliant and germane, is conceived
A character, tried and true, is birthed
A gem, beautiful to behold, is produced
In the furnace of affliction
The promises of God shine brightly

Confined 23 hours a day for 16 days within the walls of room 217, one hour away, though to the grueling press passed so quickly. At the beginning, I fidgeted, groaned and even complained—loudly too. Knowing God always has a purpose for every experience He permits me to go through did not offer much comfort at that moment. All I could see were the barriers and how constraining they were. But I have learnt gratitude of necessity must be my attitude even in all that is. Reluctantly, I must admit, I yielded so I do not miss the purpose of this experience or the comfort God has planned for me through it.
Soon I began to take notice of details within room 217. I noticed how brilliant the hues on the drapes were set against the darkness of the night and how the colors seemed to fade when sunlight filtered through them. I noticed every color and details of the pattern on the walls, on the floor and wood of the table—changing with the light of day and night—I know God does not change.
In close proximity and quietness I paid attention to the things I would have missed in the hurried busyness of life. Through the windows I saw sun rays glow against the snow-capped mountains in a kaleidoscope of fiery orange upon the grey clouds scattered in the blue sky. The Lake appeared aquamarine as the setting sun casted a golden beam upon it. The next day, it turned opaque under a heavy cloak of fog and its surroundings draped with a blanket of snow. Reflecting on the beauty of His nature—changing through the season—I know God remains unchanging.
In the long hours of solitude, the voice of God filtered clearly through my often cluttered mind nudging me to give thanks in all things and at all times. At the time when it almost seemed too hard to go on, I heard “I am with you”, He gave me many assurances of His abiding presence and He encouraged my faith.  He sharpened my focus and tuned my ears to listen. I learnt of Him in a new way confined within the wall of room 217.
“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” became my watch word at the press. There is a purpose for this test and a reason for this trial. There is something He is preparing me for and I need to go through this period to be ready. God gives the strength and the grace to overcome and to gain victory.
I am forever grateful for His faithfulness and for His love. Now I can say I am truly grateful for this experience, for all it has birthed in me. Pressed against the hard rock, my muscles toned up and became stronger. Strength and stamina returned with every effort made to endure the extra mile. Against the hard rock, His grace abounded and His promises became sure.
I emerged from room 217 knowing a brand new thread has been woven by God’s mighty hands into the tapestry He is weaving of my life. Another piece has been added to the puzzle of the picture He has in mind of me.

Be assured that in the midst of your trial and testing, God is making a gem beautiful to behold out of you if you hold on.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair” – 2Cor 4:8

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