Yesterday I told you about three out of ten books that have impacted me. Here I tell you about two more.
4. As Silver Refined by Kay Arthur. I’d heard Kay speak about the principles in this book, but I’m really glad she laid them out in black and white.
“Our enemy has at least three major strategies of weakening us before the major battles come,” she writes. “One of them is simple distraction. He wants us to focus on anything except what is truly important. How often are you and I like Martha, drawn away and distracted from the one thing that is needful (Luke 10:40-42, KJV)?
Do I know about distraction? Ummm, yeah.
Kay writes about the “Deadly D’s” of disappointment, discouragement, dejection, despair, and demoralization and compares them to basic warfare principles–of penetrating the line of defense like an arrow at the weakest point–often spiritually with a disappointment–an event that shatters our personal expectations. We need to fix our thoughts on that disappointment as an appointment–change the “D” to an “H.” Disappointment–His Appointment. And with that “H” comes hope–hope that does not disappoint. It’s the best way to keep the rest of the weapons of attack at bay before they crush us.
In the first chapter, Kay describes the refining of silver. She reminds us that we are God’s silver, and He will use our trials so that “in the pressure of their heat we’ll see the impurities of our lives being released and rising to the top. Then He’ll skim them off, purifying us, refining us.” Whenever my response to a test disgusts me, I try not to dwell on it but to remind myself that the dross in rising to be scraped away.
And then there’s this:
And oftentimes He’ll place you, His living epistle, in the same kind of fire, the same kind of disappointments and trials that so many others experience. He’ll put you with them in the same hospital, or He’ll allow you to suffer rejection or allow you to live with a rebel or to experience a financial blow. In any of a variety of disappointments, He lets you hurt as others hurt, knowing that the way in which you handle this hurt will be an undeniable testimony that there’s something awesomely different about you.
5. Gaining Through Losing by Evelyn Christenson. I read this book as I walked through several losses, including having been pulled from a place where I thought I was forever planted, away from friends I loved, to a new place where my husband would travel most of the time. At the same time, I was on the journey through infertility, corrective surgery, and an ectopic pregnancy that ultimately ended with my inability to ever bear a child.
Evelyn describes God’s “so that” principle that runs through Scripture. “In effect God says to us, “I am permitting this unpleasant experience so that you may gain . . . so that you may gain a new insight, so that you will be richer in your experiences and thereby help someone going through a similar problem . . . So we can see that testings and trials are actually a compliment from God” so that He can set the stage for gain. So that in pruning through loss, we can bear not just fruit–not just more fruit, but much fruit, eternal fruit.
“Don’t waste your losses!” she emphasizes.
Both Evelyn and Kay sealed the truth of God’s sovereignty to my hurting heart.
On a final note, I just paged through to these words that really spoke to me then and speak to me now.
The sufferings recorded in the Bible seem so frequently to be related to gaining. There is a little word–an important preposition that shows relationship–that is the key. T h r o u g h.
A speaker introducing Joyce Landorf at a convention said, “Every time I see Joyce, she has just come through a crisis.” I suddenly saw what a compliment that was, and when I had an occasion to introduce her, I explained to the audience: “He did not say she was in a crisis, but had just come through a crisis–making her the successful author/singer/speaker that she is–giving her insight and answers for the people whom she is addressing.
But we cannot come through one without being in one.
And shortly after reading this book, I was able to minister to another out of my own pain.
Come back tomorrow for Part 3. And who knows… maybe there’ll be a Part 4. But for now, I’m immersing myself back into these books and remembering.
Word count: 764
How do you cope with disappointments and losses in your life?
In the stillness,