The landscape is covered in white. The sky is thick with heavy, gray clouds.
Suddenly, the sun peeks through for a moment. Long, blue shadows stretch gracefully from glistening, diamond clad trees. And it changes everything.
Once alive with happy butterflies and busy bees, the barren meadow yields to the weight of heavy frost.
Suddenly, one purple violet peeks out from beneath the dried grass. And it changes everything.
Life is like that. We can be surrounded by desolation. There is so much pain we can only succumb to its presence.
But God tells us not to focus on it even though it is visibly threatening. Admit it. Accept it.
But don’t focus on it.
Beyond the obvious, there is something hidden worth looking for. In fact, most of the time, you don’t even have to look. You just find it. When you least expected it.
Have you ever found a flower growing through a crack in the sidewalk? Why does it always make us stop and look?
Because it matters.
We can become so used to seeing a particular way which causes us to think a particular way, we don’t consider things from a different angle.
Let it settle deeply in your soul.
And all the rest will take its proper place.
God is very aware of the difficulties we face here. We often ask why he doesn’t change it. Or why he created things the way he did to begin with.
I don’t know. But I do know he promises to help us, comfort us, and strengthen us.
It isn’t until you face something horrific that you discover this truth. Because there are certain things in life when we are so alone in our pain and no other person can completely help us.
When we turn to God, he is there.
It is possible to not be overtaken by our suffering. But you have to believe.
Some people turn away from God and that is their choice. It is understandable but you cannot stay there because you are turning away from your only source of help.
God gives us the freedom to choose. He doesn’t force us. In fact, he doesn’t even get angry if we turn away. It actually hurts him that we wouldn’t trust him.
It seems difficult to believe in someone we do not see. But if you will believe, he will do the rest.
It doesn’t mean you are not changed by the pain or loss. It doesn’t mean you cannot remember and feel sadness.
It means joy finds its way into your life again. Because you know that one day, God will make things right.
When we’re suffering, we look for answers.
Sometimes, they have been there all along.
The Bible says: Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.
That means God knew some of us would be neglected or disowned by our fathers and/or mothers.
The Bible says: Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
That means God knew we would be afraid.
The Bible says: Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
That means God knew we would worry.
The Bible says: You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
That means God knew we would cry.
These may not seem like answers but they are. They do not answer why God does not stop bad things from happening. That is the answer we all really want.
We aren’t going to get that anwer now. To keep asking will only discourage and frustrate us. We will be miserable and bitter.
But to know God wants to comfort, strengthen, and help us when everything is wrong, tells us the kind of God he is. He is not distanced or angry.
Job, was a man who knew physical, mental, and emotional suffering. He was a blameless man of complete integrity. Yet, “Job never saw why he suffered, but he saw God, and that was enough.” (Timothy Keller)
I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. –Job 42:5
What is your situation?
Are you willing for Him to be your answer?
We’ve all done it.
We’ve all had it done to us.
Speaking words that hurt.
We’re flawed human beings who don’t always get it right.
It doesn’t make it okay. It doesn’t make it hurt less.
But it does help us to navigate through the pain.
What are those words that haunt you?
Words spoken to you as a child.
Words spoken in anger.
Words spoken of betrayal.
Even words not spoken .. hurt.
Choose to love based on your own potential to falter.
Choose to love so you can be free.
ashley rose, via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-
Today, I read a story of a baby who died.
The mother wrote beautifully about her very difficult experience. Every word felt like observing a polished pearl.
Then there are the stories of babies…children…who did not die. In just the nick of time, medication was administered, an accident was prevented, a prayer was answered.
In just the nick of time.
Where was the answer for my child, you ask.
Why did God look away when I cried out to Him?
A quiet acceptance will come to those who trust in the Lord with all of their heart.
Do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do.
He will show you which path to take.
In the end, we will all arrive at our destination. It feels so far away, but it isn’t.
Your baby…your child…is with our Heavenly Father.
Keep this in your mind always.
One day you will see your baby again.
Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God.
Beneath this snowy mantle cold and clean
The unborn grass lies waiting
For its coat to turn to green
The snowbird sings the song he always sings
And speaks to me of flowers
That will bloom again in spring
photo credit: Cornell Lab of Omithology
song lyrics: “Snowbird” by Gene MacLellan