Kimberly Schneider is an administrator with the Adventist healthcare system and has ministered with Precious Daughters for ten years.
I wanted to share some things that the Lord has revealed to me in the last few years about His love for me, for us all, who we are in Christ and how we are adored by him.
I have been married for many years. I did not become a believer in Christ as my Savior until I was 30 years old. My marriage had its challenges over the years. My husband and I came into the marriage with "baggage" we had issues as individuals and this didn't set up our marriage to be without problems. Add to that, at age 30, I make a change in my life now as a believer in Christ. My husband and I don't have the same expression of Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and we have run into conflicts! However, I must say, my husband has always supported our children and myself attending church, faith based activities and living out our beliefs.
Going forward a number of years, the kids are now grown adults. I started going on ministry trips without my husband. I wanted to share Christ with the World. I wanted to be a carrier of the Light to the World. I did things that I thought the Lord would want me to be doing like going to prayer meetings at six in the morning, going to schools and taking ministry training classes. My husband always seemed okay with this, but then one of the times I went on an international trip for a couple of weeks, I came home to a husband that was trying to "find himself" in his mid 50's. He was tired of me, we had different interests. He didn't understand where I was coming from. He started leaving me to go do things with his friends and they weren't all men. Let's say my marriage really wasn't much of a marriage anymore. What happened to having a husband that could be your friend and companion? I was a wreck. I had always believed you should remain married once married until death do you part, right? There have been many divorces in my family and I had always said I wasn't going to be one that divorced. I sought counselors, friends, relatives for advice and counsel. I started to understand at least in a small way how Christ must feel when He is rejected. I cried out to Him, sought Him and Psalm 42 took on a new meaning: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
My work started suffering. I am not saying that my husband's rejection of me was any fun. I am not saying what he did was right nor that everything I did was all wrong, but God does turn what the enemy means for evil into good. There were things I needed to address personally, things I needed to realize about myself. I discovered some very amazing things about my Father God, how much God loved me and about my Savior and Lord, Jesus, things I previously had not grasped. I still don't totally, but I have a better understanding than previously!. My God, our God, stays with us through thick and thin. He says that He will not leave us or forsake us. He also said that in the World you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the World! He has shown this to me in so many ways.
I often get dreams, dreams I believe come from the Lord. Sometimes He wakes me up in the middle of the night and I try to pay attention to what time it is. One particular night when I was truly suffering and brooding on my circumstances the Lord woke me up at 3:33 am. I sought the Lord for His direction for this particular time. I looked up Jeremiah and low and behold, Jeremiah 33:3, actually 1-3 reads: “Moreover the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the prison, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord who made it, the Lord who formed it to establish it (the Lord is His name): Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’”
While even in prison, in the midst of the trials He is there for us! We can call on Him, our Lord, our Saviour, Jesus! He has marvelous things for us!
I ended up with a new job after 18 years with my previous employer. A company that I thought I would be with until I retire, but God had different plans. He gave me a new job, working with believers in Christ, working hard, being challenged, but the stretching and growing was for good and I have felt appreciated and loved. Another demonstration of the Lord's love for me! He gives us what we need, not necessarily what and how we ask for it. And again, "while in prison pray to Me and I will answer you and give more things than you can't imagine!". “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Why would I be surprised that I had troubles! “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:6 & 8
So, during these times of hardship when my husband treated me like he didn't like me or want to be with me, the Lord was always faithful to show me over and over that He was with me, that He wasn't forsaking me. How faithful He is to us. He does not leave us or forsake us. So I kept hanging in there through the difficult times. I am not giving instructions if someone should or shouldn't leave a marriage. That would be between an individual and what God is telling them. “they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.” Psalms 107:19-20
What I am trying to emphasize isn't what is happening or has happened in my marriage, I take that a day at a time. But what I want to share and what I want to emphasize is that even when we are hurting, when we are rejected, when we don't feel the Lord's presence, God is always with us, He never leaves us, He never forsakes us, He is our present help in times of trouble. He loves us that much! “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
A few takeaways from from these experiences for me; ask the Lord what He wants you to do, lean on Him, He will answer you and show you more than you can image, including how much He loves you!
I pray for you all that the Lord reveal today an even greater measure of the understanding of how you are loved by Father God and how much you are cherished by Him!
Our Father God is so madly in love with us that He sent His only Son to die for us and take on all our sins to ultimately eradicate sin from the earth and allow us to live as He always intended with Him, in Paradise, living in the ultimate bathing and warmth of His love for all eternity. He did not do this on a whim, He did it because He loves us so deeply. I know I can't really comprehend the love He has for us. I heard a man speak one time about being caught up to Heaven after a scuba diving disaster where he was attacked by deadly jellyfish. He described being caught up with the Lord into Heaven, drawn by great waves of love that were so amazingly delightful and comforting. The only reason he didn't stay was that he wanted to tell his mother he was born again and knew Jesus as his Savior. God granted him life and healing and he came back. He now tells the world what an amazing loving Father we have and how much we are loved. I say this to give you a taste of the love our Father has for us and how through Jesus Christ we can live with Him for all eternity in His loving, wonderful presence. He loves each and every one of us incredibly!
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; freed, whom the Son sets free is free indeed!” John 3:16 - 18
He made us in His image to love us for all eternity. He loves us and wants no one to perish but to live with Him forever. What's not to Love?