I was reading in Ezekiel the other day and a passage kind of hit me between the eyes:
And the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, behold, I am about to take from you the desire of your eyes with a blow; but you shall not mourn and you shall not weep, and your tears shall not come. Groan silently; make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban and put your shoes on your feet, and do not cover your mustache and do not eat the bread of men.” So, I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. And in the morning, I did as I was commanded. The people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things that you are doing mean for us?” Then I said to them, “The word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Speak to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am about to profane My sanctuary, the pride of your power, the desire of your eyes and the delight of your soul; and your sons and your daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword. You will do as I have done; you will not cover your mustache and you will not eat the bread of men. Your turbans will be on your heads and your shoes on your feet. You will not mourn and you will not weep, but you will rot away in your iniquities and you will groan to one another. Thus, Ezekiel will be a sign to you; according to all that he has done you will do; when it comes, then you will know that I am the Lord God.’” – Ezekiel 24:15-27
This is a prophet whom the Lord has called to speak to the exiles of Israel. They continue to do that for which they were banished, and God has some things to say to them. Ezekiel was instructed, and he was obedient – “whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are a rebellious house [and they] shall know that a prophet has been in their midst.” Ezekiel 2:5.
Ezekiel goes on to describe some of the hard, strange, interesting, and rather extreme things and acts he had to do to get the message out. Then this comes – He tells Ezekiel that He’s taking away his beloved wife (“the desire of your eyes”) and not to mourn, because he is to be a sign to them that they shall know that He is God.
Can I hold on to trust when God tears something good away from me so that other people will know that He is God?
Altruistically, we can say yes, but when the pain of that comes, can I choose to do it? Trust means so much more than believing everything will come out okay for me in the moment, and obeying even when I know I will lose a desire of my heart.
Everything will work out in the end – Romans 8:28.
The question is will we endure the journey that gets us there?