Excerpts from an email I sent to a good friend today -
Your statement - "Life will be harder in the coming days" - was a good "heart check" for me. In the past, a statement like that would definitely have given rise to fear, apprehension, and speculation, but due in large part to what I've experienced over the past 6+ months, that statement is now cause for excitement, anticipation, and expectation over the wonderfully creative ways in which the Father will continue to reveal His infinite love to me. By the grace of my Daddy, the deepest, most devastating pain in my life has resulted in the deepest and most wonderful revelation of who He is and the depth of His feeling for me as His special child.
As a result of what I have been through thus far, I feel like I have a completely different relationship with my Daddy. I feel like I see His heart and feelings for me as never before. I have never experienced the degree of "inner freedom" that I am now experiencing thanks to the work of His Holy Spirit in me. The crushing, the breaking, the burning have all been by His hand - motivated by His deep love for me - so that I may truly know Him and His love for me in a fuller, richer, deeper way.
I know that great tests lie before me, but I am also more convinced than ever before that I am so securely in my Father's hands and that no one or no thing can snatch me away or separate me from His wondrous love. Strip everything in my life away, and I still have Him. And having Him, I am the richest, wealthiest man alive. Every other consideration pales in comparison to Him.
A year ago, a brother at Lancaster House of Prayer prophesied that I would be going through the refiner's fire in preparation for God's future purpose in my life. That word rang true then and it has certainly played out in my life over the past 12 months. I know there is more refining ahead, but having gone through the past 12 months and having seen and felt the Father's incredible gentleness, tenderness, mercy, compassion, and nearness, I have a different perspective.
Come what may, I know that I am in the Father and He is in me. Knowing the depth of His love for me and delight in me, I am not afraid of what the future holds, because I know who holds me. The coming fires, trials, challenges, and difficulties will only serve to bring me closer and nearer to the One whom I love the most and want the most - my loving Daddy.
So...in many ways, "harder is better" because it only serves to deepen the most wondrous love relationship I have ever experienced in my life. When I am weak, He truly is strong - STRONG in love, strong in compassion, strong in tenderness, strong in gentleness, strong in mercy, strong in passion, strong in comfort, strong in nearness. Wow! "I can only imagine...."
Live free! Live in Father's love!