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Lonely Church in the Woods (Photo by Paul Schuberth)

Lonely Church in the Woods (Photo by Paul Schuberth)

During the last weeks I have been going through severe spiritual sufferings while God poured His light into my spirit and soul.
As I had reached the (what I thought to be the) bottom of all pain, I knew I was dying. Indeed, it was my SELF that was fiercely struggling to survive, yet God “won”. Oh, dying is a very lonesome affair!!!

At the very painful bottom of it all, I saw that I had no real trust in God because I had projected all my negative experiences with men on Him. Furthermore, I didn’t want to pray any more, I didn’t want to do God’s will any longer, and last but not least, I didn’t want to do my own will any more, either. To perceive such an apparent contradiction was a very strange experience, indeed.

While beforehand God’s light had felt like thousand knives in my heart that would cut me into tiny hurting pieces, there was a day when I finally felt that God took my whole heart out of me and began to squeeze it like a lemon. That was the most painful experience I ever made in my life!!! Being killed by God… That’s horrible!!!!!
To be more precise, it was not one moment of dying, it has been a process. Day after day God led me into situations of which I truly know how I normally reacted in the past. Facing these situations, I initially felt the same feelings I had been used to (anger, fear, panic, impatience, jealousy, sadness, etc.). But suddenly God released those feelings that had kept me imprisoned for all my life and – lo and behold – the feelings were GONE.

Where did they go? I don’t know… But Susanne was stunned. 😉

It is the same when human beings are confronted with physical death, particularly if they are not prepared to die. At first they are angry (mad at God if they believe in Him) and they rebel against their fate; all negativity that might have been kept under tight wraps before is eventually disclosed.
Before the eyes of our Creator we are always naked. We are born naked and when we die we have no “clothing” to offer, either. There is nothing left for a human being than to go through that painful process and to eventually say, “Yes, I give in.”
And that is what I have been increasingly able to do [only due to His help of course!], that is, letting go of my own expectations of how and when things should happen in my view. More and more, a quiet and restful foundation underneath it all begins to gleam through some not so painful feelings that are still spinning around.

“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Rom 6:5-8 ESV)

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” (1 Pt 4:1-2 ESV)

And from that point on when we have died to self, perfect peace and freedom for the soul set in. Also, continual joy and unconditional love result from enjoying Christ’s resurrection life in our mortal bodies. That kind of peace and joy cannot be compared with anything we might have experienced before. Indeed, instead of anxiousness and worrying, which both die in that process, an unshakeable gratefulness toward God becomes part of our whole being and His peaceful light floods the whole body as well. Not only our hearts and minds feel at peace, no – now, His peace surpasses ALL understanding. Eternally – and despite outer circumstances.

“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:5-7 ESV)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor 5:17 ESV)

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