Can I be honest with you, friend?
And I would rather not be sharing this. I would much rather be telling you my body is great and my heart is solid, all the while with a smile plastered on my face and makeup and wardrobe exquisitely sculpted to a T.
But no matter how hard I try to master that, that’s not me. And more importantly, that’s not who God calls me to be.
So here we are.
It has been a rough couple weeks and my body, mind and soul are paying the price. Too many emergency trips, doctor visits, and pills have come my way, leaving me depleted and exhausted.
To be real – I’m struggling.
One blow after another leaves my heart crying out for respite and I have found myself pleading for just one day – one day protected from the the winds this torrential storm keeps surging at me.
One day God, please, just one day.
One day without sickness. One day without heartbreak. One day without the pain this world leaves imprinted upon my heart.
The rain coming down outside matches my tear-stained face. I am tempted to ask God where He is in all this and why my suffering has not come to an end. I am tempted to run to Him and demand an answer as to how this, THIS, could ever be used in His Kingdom? Is there enough mercy and grace that could ever swallow up such brokenness and pain? I am tempted to hide in my hole and suffer alone.
Yet, even though my flesh is so clearly trying to take control of my heart, my soul, though weary and tired from the long battle, is harboring something deep within itself. Like a spring flowing silently under the ground I am collapsed upon, I can feel it’s power deep below. It’s just right under the surface and I can feel it deep in my bones. And on those days when I make my head get out of the way of my Jesus-loving heart, I can feel it as I starts to wash all over me.
But, how can I have peace amidst constant pain and trials? How can I have peace when doctors are leaving me speechless with diagnosis and treatment plans? How can I have PEACE when the doctor says I’m too sick to even be treated right now?
Because Jesus is the only one that knows the deep wounds of our hearts. He is the only one who loves us enough to hold every tear we shed and know the very number of hairs on our heads. JESUS is the only one who has seen me through more than I ever dreamed I would walk, all the while holding my quivering hand every unsteady step of the way.
So when my sinful mind tells me He will never be there for me, I can shout that He already has and will again. Every time. Always.
When I am tempted to listen to the lies of the Enemy telling me Jesus has forgotten me, I can open up the history book of my life and point out chapter after chapter of His presence in my life.
When I’m tempted to feel as of no use to His Kingdom, I can close my eyes and recall each fingerprint upon my suffering that He has used for His glory.
And when I am tempted to hide away somewhere, because things are just too hard, I am reminded of the cross Jesus willingly took up for me, was beaten for and died on, all for me and all for you.
Now that’s worth wiping away the tears of disappointment and frustration. Because if Jesus hadn’t willingly taken up that cross for me, what hope would I have to stand on today? What peace would there be in all this suffering?
And yes, some days we are still going to be frustrated and heartbroken. That’s where my weary heart is hanging out these days. But let me give you permission here – it’s ok to not be ok. For on those days, as we are stripped of strength and crumble into a heap on the shaky ground of this fallen world, one hand suddenly becomes very clear.
The peace-filled hand of Jesus.
If today finds you in a heap of brokenness with no words to even cry out, simply look for the outstretched hand of Jesus and find the unsuspecting peace He offers, even amidst the pain your heart and body are experiencing. Guess what? I think you will find it’s been flowing under you all along.
Sweet Jesus. Today is hard for my heart to cope. It’s broken and it’s raw. Yet, as I look back upon all the paths you have walked alongside me, I KNOW you love me. I KNOW you are holding me as I cry and I know these tears will not be wasted. Thank you that all the suffering that is surrounding my heart will not swallow up the grace and mercy your will has for my life. Even amidst uncertainty and even amidst pain, today I CHOOSE you. Every day, I choose you. I choose your peace, even as unsuspecting as it may seem to my blinded earthly eyes. Thank you for reminding me, yet again, that you are HERE and that your peace is free for the taking, if only I accept it. I pray all of this in your precious and grace-filled name.