She inspired me. As her words flowed from the page, they reached deep into my heart. So much more than just ‘words’, there was substance and weight with each one. I know her. She is stronger than she realizes. Her experience in the hard places have molded her. She had to walk here, the hard place. Her faith has been weathered and proven in His faithfulness. As for her story, well, it is just that…hers! The One writing it, He has walked each step with her. He knows ‘life’ is more than just surface, the true treasure lies ‘beyond the dirt.’
I remember the day He gave me these verses. So many years ago it seems. In that moment, I remember thinking “if my heart would just stop beating I would be better.” But, that was not His plan. I had to walk in the hard place. My heart was broken due to what was lying before me on the surface, what seemed to be waste and desolate ground. In the hard place, we never see the ‘beauty’ that will come because our pain overshadows any hope of good. That is where the working of our Father’s Hand can begin to unearth us.
There was a breaking that needed to be done in my life. He was calling me to His feet and He had my attention. The words made me fear. Crooked places, break in pieces, cut in sunder… this could not be good or pleasant! As I continued to read it over and over, I saw Grace! In the hard and unwanted place there flowed Mercy. My Father wanted to give. He wanted to give me something very precious. I would receive ‘treasures’ of darkness. Things that were to be made out of that dark place, things I could not see. They were already there and He would ‘mine them out’ if I would seek Him and allow Him to work deep in this heart that just wanted to stop beating. He wouldn’t stop there! He wanted to lead me into secret places, the deep soul place where He speaks and abides with me. Riches hidden deep would be illuminated in my hard place. There was m-o-r-e. There is always MORE. Lest I begin to think that this place is all about me and my pain, He directs me right back to Himself. All of this…this hard place, is so I may KNOW that He, the ONE calling me by my name, He IS God. A knowing so deep, so genuine, and so real that He becomes the substance of my faith.
Isaiah 33:6 ~ And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.
Wisdom. Knowledge. Reverence. He illuminates this path while I meet Him in His Word. Digging deep within, dark places revealed to bring good. He wants them. All of them. There is beauty waiting to mold me, I must release control. I relive them, but this time through His eyes. These are the treasures of darkness.
Some treasures are found in trials designed to shake me free from earthen shackles. Some treasures are brought through blessings that bring His Glorious Presence before me…reminding me of Who He is and that I have nothing to fear. His path for me offers carefully placed treasures, hidden treasures, and deep treasures to be mined and cherished each and every day. Treasures molded and made with great pressure and fierce temperatures. Treasures arrayed in beautiful colors and density, weathered and proven. Still continuing today, I find more of Him along the way in each step, every breath, and deep below the surface of this life I am called to live.
After the excavation, He always desires to restore. He meets me in the secret place. I find solace there. His Hand is gentle. This uncovering brings hidden riches of Peace, Hope, Strength, Favor, Love… the riches go on and on. I would not have known their depth, their weight, their worth without the hard place. He is magnified in this process. He brings me to Worship Him in this secret place. He offers life more abundantly here. I am changing. I feel Grace. He has removed to replenish!
The hard places in our life are very real and very raw…until we lay them at the feet of Jesus. He brings us into the dark places to get our attention. For when He is ALL we have, we learn that He is ALL we need! There He gets ALL of us…every single area that He has desired to remove from our grasp. The ultimate will of God is for us to become the image of Christ. He will bring or allow whatever it takes to accomplish this purpose.
There have been many things in my life that I would have never chosen. In my eyes, it was not supposed to happen like that. Jesus broke my heart…literally. In that brokenness, He got my heart because He was the only One who could heal it properly. He is wanting “ALL” of me and He has my undivided attention. I struggle still with dark places in my life. I TRUST Him, but to work on them daily is reliving the pain. I want the ‘easy’, I want the ‘miraculous’, but He knows that is only good and He desires BEST! BEST is me facing this every day and watching Him work and walk me through it. BEST is to examine the struggle and let Him fight for me. BEST is to wake up each morning making the “choice” to stare it in the face and tell this dark place that it can no longer have power over me. BEST is to release years of defeat and rebuild this place into something Beautiful! I want all that is hidden “beyond the dirt”… but I must dig for it. Whewwww! That was hard, but I said it.
I am learning to lean on Jesus, giving up my humanity for His Glory. He is my High Priest and He is touched by the feeling of my infirmity! He redeems my suffering, infusing it with meaning and purpose. He desires for me to seek His abiding Presence. I am not left alone to do this life. I want to see His Glory, His Presence, His Face… I do not want to settle for ordinary things. I will continue to heal, to experience Jesus’ Grace and Presence, and find beauty “beyond the dirt.”
Side note: Her story… find it here willowbrookfarmlife.com I know her. She is my daughter.
Obedience is not a matter of seeing the ‘whole path’ before me – ONLY the Next Step!