Many of you know that God has allowed our family to be tried over the past several years; a little over four years now. It has been very painful — fire hurts — but at the same time, dross, which has been hidden to everyone, has been coming to the surface, where the Lord can then purify it from us. My mind understands the process: because the Lord loves us too much to leave the toxic dross in us where it can quietly poison us and those around us, He allows us to be tried and purified by fire. My heart, when it is in the middle of the fiery furnace, hurts, however; and with the Psalmist I cry,
Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are vexed
My soul is also sore vexed
But Thou, O Lord, how long?
Return, O Lord, deliver my soul
Oh save me for Thy mercies’ sake.
For in death there is no remembrance of Thee
In the grave, who shall give Thee thanks?
I am weary with my groaning
All the night make I my bed to swim
I water my couch with my tears
Mine eye is consumed because of grief
It waxeth old because of all mine enemies.
The bit about “In the grave, who shall give Thee thanks?” stood out to me this time. I ask myself, never mind the grave; in life, even in the temporary fiery trials of this life, who is giving Thee thanks? Do I, like Betsy Ten Boom, bless Your name, as the song says, when the sun is shining down on me and everything is as it should be, but also when my road is marked with suffering and there is pain in the offering (of thanksgiving)? Ever so gently, my Father challenges me to bring the sacrifice of praise to His glorious throne. And as I do so, His presence, the healing balm of Gilead, binds up my broken heart.