When You Can’t See God’s Hand…

Trust His Heart.

We have these words etched into our living room wall.

{Okay, so they’re stuck up there in vinyl. But let’s pretend they’re etched. It sounds considerably more dramatic…}

It became our mantra during an intense year of hurdle-jumping.

Between the loss of my hubby’s dream job, the loss of a living space of our own, thousands of dollars in ruined belongings {compliments of a leaky storage unit}, and the near loss of our newborn son, we became quite skilled in the fine art of “clinging”.

We felt we had no choice but to cling to our God, and what we knew of His character, during this identity-shaking, heart-breaking season. Sure, we camped out in ‘angry’ and ‘resentful’ for a while, but didn’t find our stay to be very comfortable or satisfying.

So we chose to fix our gaze heavenward, to trust His heart towards us, and to lean into His extravagant grace amidst the turbulence.

You would think, due to my aversion to discomfort, that one couldn’t pay me enough to relive last year, but truth be told…I would. Not because it was fun. But because I treasure the softening and strengthening that took place in the depths of my heart through the struggle.

We tasted a sweet intimacy with our Savior that we had not experienced before.

It is so easy to desire the polished end result without wanting to endure the discomfort and stretching of the process.

So we are learning to not despise the process, but to embrace it {uncomfortable as it may be at times}.

We aren’t promised smooth sailing, beloved. Quite the contrary; we are guaranteed a bumpy ride…
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” {Isaiah 43:2}.

Not “if”.

But “when”.

There’s an old story of a famous sculptor who was asked how he turned a massive block of marble into an exquisite horse. He replied, “It’s easy…I see the horse…then take my hammer and chisel and simply chip away everything that isn’t horse”.

God is in the process of sculpting us into His image, chipping away everything that doesn’t look like Jesus. And that takes time. Lots and lots of time. And a chisel that quite often resembles our spouse, our kids, our job, and much of the adversity we encounter along the way.

He patiently, tenderly chips away.

Think: Joseph {of multicolored dream-coat fame}. God gave him big dreams at 17. But he was 30 before he stood before Pharaoh as a royal official. It took 13 long, hard years of sculpting and intentional clinging.

You see, God allows in His wisdom what he could easily prevent in His power.

Joseph’s dream-giving God had not abandoned him. He was working intently behind the scenes, chipping and molding, equipping him for the history-altering events that ensued; forging Joseph’s character and integrity, developing his leadership skills, and training him in Egypt’s financial and agricultural systems.

It’s a good thing mighty Joe “clung”.  These were all pretty vital attributes for a man who would ultimately rescue the whole world from famine.

As you press in and press on in your journey, you too will be faced with opportunities to cling or clamor.

As we move further into this new year, cling tightly to the Master sculptor as he molds you into the masterpiece He’s destined you to be.

It’s gonna be good, sister…so trust His heart, hold onto your {marble} horse and get ready for the ride of your life!


By Joy McMillan, Simply Bloom


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer Orndorff
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 14:14:58

    Thank you for those words – Trust his heart. I too have been through and am still making my way out of what I can only describe as the bottom of my soul. Ask me last April if I believed in God, and I would have answered – no. Ask me today, and I answer that I have been to a place in my life where there was only me in despair and I thought I was alone. But God sent me someone who is a very special part of my life now – I was able for the first time in my life to feel Him. Pride has been in my way for a very long time, that it blinded me to allowing myself to know God. I’m still filled with much uncertainity; a lot of feeling of unworthiness – for who am I to say I love God when I don’t know him entirely yet? Sometimes when I go to church, I feel wrong for doing so – is it right for me to be there, with the others who seem to believe wholeheartedly? And yet, I still question Him?
    I am thankful for the opportunity to read the posts; to feel enlightened; to feel not so alone anymore in my searching. And I like to hope that one day I will be able to let go and trust.


    • Joy McMillan
      Feb 23, 2011 @ 17:30:23

      Oh, Jen {may I call you that?}, I hear you. On this earth, we will never truly “Grasp” a hold of who God is. We are so finite, and He, so enormous and majestic and mysterious! We can only ever fall further in love with what we do know of him – be it barely-hanging-on/minuscule or daily enlarging.
      Please never feel guilty for going to church…that the place we go when we’re broken and hungry and hurting. The doctor’s office isn’t for the healthy…it’s for the sick. And, if I may be so bold, don’t be fooled by people’s polished exteriors {at church, that is}, sure there are many who believe whole-heartedly, but even they have endured times of weariness and doubt in their faith – and it is often that time of searching that has led them to that beautiful, intimate place. We are have baggage, and woundedness. The amazing thing about God is when we’re able to surrender those “ugly” parts of our lives…he makes something beautiful out of them and gets all the glory!
      Press in, press on…and know that you are loved extravagantly by an almighty God {who is in RELENTLESS pursuit of your heart!}! 🙂


  2. Roberta
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 23:19:04

    Thank you, Joy, for sharing your heart here and your whole family on your website/blog!!! I would love to try your white chili!!!!!


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