As believers, as sisters, as we walk together – it would be beautiful if our ascent and our growth toward the Lord was built by smiles and blessing alone. If we could get closer to Him through constantly being understood and experiencing harmony. Goodness, that would be preferable.
But if you’ve walked with Him, if you’ve spent any amount of time growing through His grace, you probably already know that much of our intimacy with the Lord is built on us being made like Him as we experience tiny shadows and whispers of pain and sacrifice like Jesus did. We’ll never know the full weight, the full burden of the pain that Jesus endured on the cross for our sins, but we know hurt and we know sacrifice.
Psalm 129 is such a beautiful reminder that life with the Lord isn’t an ever increasingly beautiful fairytale. The psalmist was greatly afflicted for years and years and he knew the rest of Israel could relate. You’re going to suffer and I’m going to suffer and none of us are immune to pain.
So how in the world does this help us? Does this push us closer to the Lord?
Insert Romans 12:1.
By the mercy of God, we can present ourselves as sacrifices, holy and acceptable, as worship. We can let the Lord grab up our hearts and shame and pain and hold them open to Him for His glory and the good of those who love Him. We can trust in the midst of trial and hold fast to the hope with which we were first presented when we placed our life in His hands.
Singing cheerful songs of blessing and glory and grace is an act that is good and right and often timely. But there is beautiful worship for all of us in recounting:
These are my afflictions. This is my God. He has the right to use my life how He deems and I will not respond as one who knows no hope. No matter the trial, I will not be prevailed upon. I will respond as a daughter who counts it an honor to identify with my Savior in suffering and sacrifice. When you pass by me, in any season, you can be certain that the blessing of the Lord is upon me.