Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Purpose Of Our Pain

"For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth..."
Job 19:25
(KJV)

I started following the Blind Pig & The Acorn blog several years ago.
Kevin first found them on their Youtube channel, and somehow, from there, we found their blog, written by Tipper Pressley.

We have often let their playlists automatically play on our desktop computer,
as we enjoy the amazing harmony, the beautiful music, and hearing the old-time songs we love so well.

These people have been such a blessing to my family and me.
I can't begin to tell you how sad we were when "Pap" (Tipper's father and the elderly gentleman in many of their videos) passed away last year.
Oh, my!
Even though we never met him (or any of them, personally), we almost felt like we had lost a member of the family.
It was hard to think of future videos being posted without Pap being there to sing along with his son, Paul, and other family members.

One day, back in January of this year, Tipper included a song that I had never heard before in her daily blog post. 
This song has come to mean an awful lot to me...especially right now.
It is called "Job's God", and I hope you will take the time to listen to Tipper's brother, Paul, 
sing it in the video below.
The words to this song are just amazing.
(I've included the lyrics below the video.)

I know God must have really wanted me to get the message of this song,
because a few days ago, Kevin found it, on his own, on the Blind Pig & The Acorn youtube page.
He called me in to where he was and said,
"I want you to hear this song.  It reminds me of you and what you are going through."
I had no idea what the song was, until the video began to play.
I could hardly believe it.

You can click Job's God to read Tipper's original post which introduced me to this song.
She shares her brother, Paul's words concerning the authorship and other information about the song,
including what the song meant to her father.

Tonight, I am fighting yet another battle in this ongoing spiritual war, (aren't we all?),
 and I tell you the truth, right now, I feel like I, myself, could have written at least part of the words to this song.
Because, to be perfectly honest, and, dear Lord, please know that I mean no disrespect,
sometimes it feels like God has sort of backed up and allowed satan to pounce with all fours.
Have you ever felt like that?

Another beautiful photo by my dear friend, Gentle Joy

I write to you straight from my heart tonight.
I don't understand a lot of what I am going through right now.
There are situations in my own life and in the lives of those I deeply care about, 
that I do not understand.
Perhaps, you can relate?

It is in times like these that dear Zach, aka as "Little Mr. Wisdom", often reminds me, 
"Mama, when we can't understand God's logic, we have to trust His wisdom."

I am now walking through one of the times I described in this post, and like Job must have felt when he said,
"Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him:
On the left hand, where He doth work, but I cannot behold Him: He hideth Himself on the right hand, that I cannot see Him:  But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."
Job 23:8-10

If video doesn't load, click here.

Lyrics to "Job's God"

I can feel the hand of Satan, 
As a tempter pressing sore;
He has been before the Father, 
Asking leave to press me more.

Though God slay me, yet I'll trust Him, 
I shall then come forth as gold;
And I know the Redeemer liveth, 
I can feel Him in my soul.

I can hear the Father granting, 
Saying, "You'll not touch his life.
Though you crush him, he'll not falter,
He will rise above the strife."

Though God slay me, yet I'll trust Him,
I shall then come forth as gold; 
And I know the Redeemer liveth, 
I can feel Him in my soul.

Though I stumble, I'll not stagger. 
By His Grace, I'll make it through; 
For His Grace is all-sufficient, 
And I know that God is true.

Though I look all about me, 
And His face I cannot see;
Still I know that through the darkness, 
He beholdeth even me.

Though God slay me, yet I'll trust Him,
I shall soon come forth as gold;
And I know my Redeemer liveth. 
I can feel Him in my soul.

I hope you draw as much encouragement from this song as I have,
because the words are true.
I know that in my heart, even though the trial is hard to endure.

I think of Job, and it occurs to me that he probably never had one clue as to the fact that his severe testing and trials would one day make it to the pages of God's Holy Word.
He could not have imagined how many millions of people would read his life story and find comfort and solace in knowing that even though God allowed him to be tried beyond measure, He saw him through his trials and restored double to him after He brought him through.
I am thankful that God's providence allowed for Job's vulnerability and humanity to be revealed and his words and the expressions of his heart to be recorded upon the pages of what we now call our Bible.

Job may have found no logic or sense in the fiery trials he was called upon to walk through, 
but how many of us have turned to the pages of his book in the Bible for encouragement as we have gone through our own hard places?
Just as we draw strength from reading of how God brought Job through his trials, 
perhaps someone is finding hope and courage by seeing or hearing about what God has done or is doing for us in our situations, perplexities, and difficulties.

I wonder about the person who wrote this song, "Job's God".
Tipper's blog post mentioned that the author of the song was named as S. N. Greene.
What was he or she going through to write such heart-wrenched lyrics?
Just what sort of pain would draw such words from the soul and compel a person to write them down?
We will probably never know, just as the author of the words will never realize how much consolation their song composition is bringing to us now.

None of our trials are without purpose.
Sometimes, we go through hard things for the benefit of someone else.
As they see how God enabled us through and restored us after our trial, they are able to find the fortitude to trust God for their own affliction or distress.
He has a reason for everything He does, even though it is often unseen by us.
Sometimes, down the road, He makes it clear.
Other times, we never know or see the full purpose or scope of why He allows what He allows.
He is God, and we are not.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9

I don't know what you are going through, but I trust you will take cheer in knowing that God did not waste Job's pain, and He is not wasting yours.

I also hope you will stop by and visit Tipper's amazing blog and check out the Blind Pig & The Acorn youtube channel.
You will find encouragement in both places.

In closing, I am including a video of a blessed, old song beautifully sung by Tipper's daughters, "The Pressley Girls", along with Paul.

Before you listen, though, I have to mention one more thing, 
on a much lighter note and somewhat totally off the subject.
It is no secret that I dearly love soap,
especially, homemade soap.
I think my love for homemade soap is beyond normal and is more like an obsession.
One day, while looking around Tipper's blog, I happened to notice that one of the Pressley Girls has her own Etsy Shop called, "Apothecopie".
When I saw that she sells homemade soap, I decided I had to try some.
I ordered the Lemon Poppy scent, and, let me just tell you, 
it is wonderful!
This soap is gentle, it rinses very well, and it smells amazing!
I hope you will stop by and visit Apothecopie and order some of your own!

If video doesn't load, click here.

God bless you, dear readers!
Heaven will surely be worth it all.
"...knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward."
Hebrews 10:34-35

52 comments:

  1. I absolutely love those words: "Mama, when we can't understand God's logic, we have to trust His wisdom." I must write this down in my Bible. Thank you for sharing the depths of your heart and the singing. This post has melted my heart this morning. I won't go into details but one time during a difficult phase of life, I was doing my morning devotional and praying and seeking God's face. Long story short here is what my spirit felt: Sometimes our Lord has to turn His sweet head away from us because He can't stand the hurt and pain that He sees us going through, just like His father had to do when His son was being nailed to a Roman Cross. But, it had to take place so that God would be glorified, just like "things" has to happen good or bad in our lives so that God will be glorified. Everything is done for our good and His glory.
    Now I didn't say this really made me feel better at the time. But I wanted to share. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Oh, bless your heart! I am so thankful dear Zach's words were an encouragement to you! You will NEVER know how much your words have blessed me, also. Tonight, as I was in a very severe bout with the enemy, YOUR words came back to me from when I read them earlier. I never thought of it this way. I have often heard of how God had to turn His head away so He would not have to see Jesus' terrible suffering, but I never thought of how He has to do that to avoid seeing our suffering. Perhaps, this is why I feel He is so silent and distant right now. This thought has comforted me more than I could ever say, dear friend. THANK YOU ever so much for sharing this...it meant so much to me, and I won't forget it. Sending many hugs and blessings back to you!

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  2. Oh my dear Cheryl, I hear your heartfelt anguish in this post. I'm listening to "Job's God" as I type this and feeling the tears run down my face. I feel that Satan has been pressing me physically for a couple of years now and I don't know why I'm going through these things. But then I read another story, another blog post and realize that others are going through so much worse than I am. I trust Him and am waiting to be refined in my soul to gold by the great refiners fire.
    I will be praying for you to feel the peace from Him that I know, you know, is there.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. Oh, dear Betsy! I know you surely know what long-term suffering is like...dear friend, I think of you so much and pray for you and do long for the day that God will relieve this awful suffering from your body and restore better health to you. I do not understand why someone as kind and loving and loyal as you has to go through so much. He is surely near to us all, even though we cannot feel or find Him, at times. You are a precious encouragement to me, and I love and appreciate you so much. Praying for you, sweet friend. :)

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  3. I am praying for you, Cheryl.... all of this is difficult and has no purpose that we can see... and yet God does have a plan. There is a song I love that says, "When you can't see His hand, trust His heart." I have quoted that many times. I will keep praying.

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    1. Thank you ever so much, my faithful, dear friend. I am pretty sure I have heard that song, too. I love those words you quoted. Knowing you are faithfully praying is such a blessing and comfort. Sending much love and gratitude to you, and I am praying for you, too.

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  4. Amen! Heaven will surely be worth it all. Thankful that there is a purpose to all the pain we endure here on earth

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    1. Yes, there is a purpose, even though it is hard to see sometimes, isn't it? I think of that song often...they sang it at my dear Mom's gravesite. She used to love that song. (Heaven will surely be worth it all.) Sending hugs to you in your grief, sweet friend. I do hope you and Colby are holding up okay. I am praying for you. :)

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  5. Wow - I have not heard of them or seen their videos but I sure enjoyed this one. I have also not heard of that song and you do indeed wonder what was happening that prompted the writing of that song. It is encouraging to know others have struggled and come out on the other side as gold. Praying the same for you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Lauren. Your kind words just mean so much! May God bless you for the encouragement you are to me. :)

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    1. Thank you, Victor. God bless you, too, my friend. :)

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  7. You know I will be praying for you, my friend Cheryl. I am so sorry that you are going through all these life-trials right now. I will just never understand, this side of Heaven, why some of us suffer as we do...the WHYs are just overwhelming sometimes.
    I am going to listen to that song and will check out that blog. It is one I have not heard of before this post.
    Love to you- xo Diana

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    1. Oh, dear friend! Thank you ever so much for your dear, sweet encouragement. Your friendship and support are precious gifts to me! May the Lord bless you...I know you are bearing up under much testing of your own, and I trust Jesus to hold you close and strengthen you, too. I love and appreciate you dearly. God bless you. :)

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  8. Thanks for the encouragement even when you're walking through your own valley. I think that's when He wants the world to see that there is purpose for all seasons and He is sovereign over all of them for everyone.

    Praying for you, your niece, and your family.

    Loved that song.

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    1. I truly appreciate your visits and encouragement, brother. They are such an uplift and blessing. I am so thankful for your prayers and that you enjoyed the song. May God bless you abundantly!

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  9. Hi Cheryl,
    You have managed to offer us words of hope and encouragement even when you are going through a difficult time. Your courage and care for others is so evident during a time when it's easier to lay low and stay out of sight until you feel stronger. Take heart knowing we are praying for you! xo

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    1. Dear Valerie! Your kind words just meant SO much to me today! Thank you, my friend, for taking the time to stop and encourage and be such a blessing. May the dear Lord bless you, sweet friend!

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  10. Hello my friend!
    These seasons that life brings in our lives is always hard even when we know He is near and holding on. I have been holding onto the verse in psalm that says He catches all our tears and puts them in a bottle. He truly does care among the pain. You definitely brought up an awesome point that we do sometimes go through times Of heartache for someone else. I never though of it for myself but I think it does make sense. Apparently God knows we can handle it even when we feel like we are letting that person down because we are still struggling ourselves. Lifting up a prayer for you now

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    1. Oh, Kristina! It was SO good to see that you had stopped by! I have had you on my mind and been wondering how you are doing. I miss you and your sweet presence in blogland. I do hope you are feeling well? If I remember correctly, your little one will soon arrive? I am so thankful for you and your sweet encouragement. God bless you, sweet friend!

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    2. I am doing pretty good. 36 weeks tomorrow and feeling it! Lol God is in control with how this little one is going to come into this world and I choose just to rest in Him. He really has shown me how to live in the moment by moment by resting in how much He cares and understands all aches and pain and anxieties. It has been awesome to see how He has been working despite how crazy life is. Continuing to pray for you right now.

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    3. Oh, how sweet, Kristina! I am so happy you wrote back and let me know how you are doing. I think of you and am praying for you, sweet friend. Sending love to you and that sweet baby!

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  11. Zac's words of wisdom are wise beyond his years! No, we may not understand things and why they are here on earth, but we know His wisdom and love have a plan beyond what we can see and understand. I wish I could heal your body and touch your heart but I know that only our dear Lord can, and so I will be continuing in prayer for the Lord to lift this burden up from you and give you release and peace and respite from the depth of the trials hanging low in your life! I really enjoyed the music of the Pressley's, I am listening to them now as I type, I had never heard of them. Wonderful music that brings back memories of times gone by. Praying that your heart is encouraged and blessed in a way that only the Lord can do, and that your body is healed in Jesus name! Hugs to you dear friend!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words about dear Zach! Bless his heart, he is such a blessing to us in so many ways, and I have been astounded countless times through the years at the wisdom that spews from him. I cannot begin to tell you how much your friendship, love, support, encouragement, and kindness means to me. So many times, God uses you in such precious ways to uplift my heart. Sending much love and many hugs back to you and also much gratitude, dear friend!

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  12. Dear Cheryl,
    Oh dear one, I am praying for you tonight as you walk through a dark time! That Scripture passage from Isaiah 55 is one of my Life Verses that God has used throughout my life, time after time. And so this thought: "He has a reason for everything He does, even though it is often unseen by us" is such a blessing to me, as I am in a hard season also. Isn't God so good to bring us just the word we need? Whether through a song, a post, or another's words reminding us of a Scripture, He finds such ways to encourage us. Blessings, Love, and Hugs to you!

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    1. Dear, precious friend! I know you are walking through such a dark valley yourself, and yet, you continually uplift and bless me with your dear encouragement. I am SO thankful we can be there for one another through these trying scenes of life! I am praying for you, dear one, and trusting Jesus to bring you through and let you see His love in so many ways. Sending much love and many hugs your way!

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  13. Hi Cheryl! I t sure does seem like this is a time of great trial for you. In the middle of the storm, it's always hard to see the way out, or even that there is one. But I know your faith is pulling you through, and will keep you strong.
    Know that so many are praying for you, and even though you have no idea why this is happening, God knows. God knows. He will bring you to such a better place in your heart and your soul.
    Hang on! Keep listening to music, and accepting the love and prayers of your family and friends. The light will come.
    In prayer,
    Ceil

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    1. Thank you ever SO much, dear friend. Your words are a great uplift and encouragement to me. I love what you said, "He will bring you to such a better place in your heart and your soul." That is such a comfort to me...knowing that there is a "nevertheless afterward" to the trials. God bless you for the blessing you are to me and to so many others. :) Sending much love and gratitude to you!

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  14. Cheryl-what a beautiful heartfelt post!! I'll be praying for you to come out on the other side of whatever you're going through and it thrills my soul that Job's God is helping you as it did me. The whole Blind Pig Gang could never express the gratitude we have for your's and Kevin's support-we are so very thankful for you both!!

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    1. Thank you, dear Tipper! It was so wonderful to see that you had come by, and your words are just precious to me! I shared them with Kevin, and he was blessed, also! We just think the world of all of you and trust God to continue to bless each one of you. You just don't realize how many lives you touch and bless. :) Thank you so very much!

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  15. Some trials can get almost unbearable, but knowing God is not unaware and that He is present even then is so comforting. Plus, He strengthens us in ways we do not even know, to trust Him in the midst of it all.
    He is The Reason you can still call Him God and Lord, I know you know He will pull you through this time.
    Like you Cheryl, I go through a difficult time now myself, and like you I am standing and trusting in His faithfulness and ability to pull me through.
    You and I will rejoice in the end!

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    1. Thank you SO much, my dear sister. Your words are such a blessing to me! I am so sorry you are going through such a difficult time, and I want you to know that I am praying for you. Yes, my friend, "you and I will rejoice in the end!" I look forward to that day...we share each other's struggles, so sharing our victories are ever more sweet. God bless you and be with you...sending much love to you!

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  16. Oh yes Cheryl, I certainly feel your pain in enduring pain that we think we can't endure. Thank you for sharing your honesty with us, so that I know that I'm not alone. I saw my counselor yesterday and she told me before I left, to "Trust God". That's sometimes so hard to do when we want to be in control, right? Thank you for sharing the song and the verses with us, and Zach's very own wisdom! God bless you!

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    1. Oh, you are SO right, my friend. Sometimes trusting God is so hard, because it is hard to turn loose of our "control", even though there isn't much we have any control over, in reality. I know you are in your own time of suffering and hurt, dear one, and I trust Jesus to hold you close and keep you encouraged. I am praying for you and send much love to you. :)

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  17. These Scriptures are uplifting at such a time of trial. I like it, too, when God speaks to me through songs. Right now, it seems like songs about heaven are jumping out at me and comforting me. We have a great God who seems to know just how to speak to His children. I pray for you, dear sister friend. It will all come together for you, I just know it! Wishing you a great weekend. Hugs, big loving hugs to you.

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    1. Dear, precious friend! I know you are in such a sad, hard place...my heart goes out to you that God will comfort and hold you close. I can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your prayers and encouragement and support. I am praying for you and sending love and hugs back to you, sweet sister!

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  18. Such wise words Zach shared, Cheryl. There are great words to hold to when walking through difficult times. Will be praying for you.

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    1. Thank you so much, sweet friend. Zach is such a dear blessing to us in so many ways. I so appreciate your prayers and friendship on this journey and trust God will bless you, my sister. :)

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  19. Cheryl, as a Christian who prayed earnestly since age 14 for a Christian husband, and experienced a broken home when my husband of 17 years declared that he had only pretended to be a Christian, and left me and our little boy, I know the meaning of pain. I taught in a Christian school for 20 years, raising my son in a Christian home with just the two of us, loving him, praying with him since he was born, sending him for 12 years to a wonderful Christian School, raising him in Church, reading Scripture with him daily, encouraging him to have Christian friends and activities, sending him to a Christian University. Then,after his freshman year of college, he said that he was angry with me. He was also angry with his father, but would never admit that. Now, 27 long, lonely years later, at age 44, he's a husband and father, but he only calls me out of duty on Christmas, Mother's Day, & my birthday. He's mostly cold and distant. Hmmmm. A mother's years of praying and trusting God for my son's salvation and for us to have a good relationship unanswered. For years, I was beyond heart broken. My trust in God's goodness began to weaken, my faith was deeply shaken. In God's mercy, He sent me a wonderful, Christian husband, and we are so happy together serving the Lord. How do I deal with my broken heart over my son? God finally showed me to just totally give it over to His hands. He alone knows what it's all about. I will rejoice in Christ and in my happiness with my husband and will not allow my son's attitude to destroy the last years of my life. Cheryl, sometimes the hardest thing, & the best thing is to roll our cares over on God, casting them totally over on Him. God wants His children to have peace and joy and to trust Him. Maybe this sounds too simple. It's hard to let go of our pain. It's difficult to have joy when we don't understand. But, the battle is the Lord's, not ours. He sees the end from the beginning. He only asks us to love Him, serve Him, love others and trust and pray. Remember Jesus' command to, "Be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world."

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    1. Dear Bev, I am SO sorry to hear of the deep pain in your heart and life. Surely you have endured much heartache, and I trust Jesus to heal you and make you whole. John 16:33 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture...it has been such a comfort to me so many times throughout life. Thank you for your visit and for sharing your heart with us here. I am praying for you to find peace, my friend. God bless you.

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  20. Such a beautiful post, I am so glad He gave you the strength to share. Such courage you have dear sister to labor for the Lord when you are suffering. I wish I possessed that kind of strength. I loved all of it, but this part especially, "I don't know what you are going through, but I trust you will take cheer in knowing that God did not waste Job's pain, and He is not wasting yours." That is most precious to me, to know that all my years of illness and feeling so unfruitful will not be wasted either. Such a joy to find so many kindred hearts here too. There seems to be an army of soldiers here who deeply love the Lord. I love your son's words too. You did such a fine job of molding him and training him that sure is evident.

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    1. Oh, bless your heart! Your words meant SO much to me tonight! I cannot thank you enough for stopping by and taking time to leave such encouragement here. I am SO sorry to know that you have suffered for so many years, and I do trust the dear Lord to encourage you and hold you close to His heart. You are so right...there truly is an army of soldiers who gather here and deeply love the Lord. Such precious friends, and I am so thankful you are among them! Thank you for your kind compliment about dear Zach's words. He is such a precious blessing. God bless you and keep you and reward you for your sweet visit!

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  21. Cheryl, I haven't heard that song, but sure appreciate your turning my attention to Job's words and life this morning. Thanks for staying on track and in truth even in challenging times.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet visit, Michele. May the Lord bless you, my friend. :)

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  22. Thank you for this post, dear Cheryl. Praise God that His ways are higher and wiser than ours. "Job's God" is a blessing and I'll probably share it on my own blog eventually. God bless you with His amazing peace this week.

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    1. Oh, that would be wonderful, Mary. I so enjoy your "evening song" posts. You are a blessing to me, sweet sister. God bless you. :)

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  23. Cheryl, life has kept me going at record speeds lately, so I've not had time to stop by my favorite blogs, but I'm here today and I will say a prayer for you. It seems the enemy is working overtime, as we near the day of the Lord. Let's agree to give him a black eye!

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    1. Thank you ever so much, dear Dayle. I am so blessed by your sweet visit, kind words, and to know that you are praying for me. Amen! Let's give him a black eye! Love you, sweet friend. :)

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  24. Love, love, love, the song, Walking My Lord Up Calvary Hills.

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    1. Me, too, Betty. So thankful you enjoyed it. :)

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  25. Oh sweet friend, I'm so sorry you are continuing to be in the hard places. Yet your heart continues to sing, sing like the birds that sing in the rain, testifying to God's love, despite how you are feeling.

    Your testimony encourages all of us to choose Hope in the Lord when we don't feel Him near.

    I also loved your insight that we don't know how many people our own story will touch, just like Job didn't when He went through the pain of losing everything, but God. How He uses our brothers and sisters in the Lord to "feel" Him.

    Thank you so much for sharing the lyrics to this very moving song, a song of hope.

    I have always found comfort in Jesus' words to Simon from Luke, "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”…

    And indeed, dear friend, you are doing just that.

    May the God of all Comfort comfort you.

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    1. Thank you SO much for your precious encouragement, dear friend. I am sorry I am only now getting to reply to this. Oh, your words mean SO much to me! I love the passage you shared, too, and I am so comforted knowing Jesus is praying for each one of us right now. God bless for the precious blessing you are in my life. Much love and gratitude to you!!

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