walking a road, today, that last year I was running, tripping in my new shoes and seeing the metaphor as so ironic. what i once had nailed down is torn loose, and flapping in the wind.
i keep pressing repeat on the song, trying to capture again, what the lyrics used to mean…
i long to be suddenly unaware of these afflictions… i long for them to be eclipsed by glory…
when the oh-how-He-loves-us chorus starts,
my heart cries, broken and i hope the passing car thinks it is just rain on my cheeks
no answers, no glory just wrestling. some days it takes me by surprise, this life and i try to remember suffering is temporary but it feels so large, today. i cannot get it stuffed down enough and i hope that a brisk walk will change, restore. he is always out here, that sky-declaring-
but it’s not working, its futile
wounds i thought healed, torn open again and i reel with shock
faith that once conquered is trembling weak this morning.
forgiveness slathered on so liberally, where does this shaking rage come from?
and i know the way back, i feel Him calling me to believe the impossible…that He loves us
Job said it today and my heart nodded
but He stands alone, and who can oppose Him? He does whatever He pleases. He carries out His decrees against me, and many more He still has in store. That is why I am terrified before Him, when I think of all this, I fear Him.
because this is the reality my heart shrinks back from. God allowed another’s sin to crush me. and He may allow it again. and this doesn’t feel like love, or protection. I long to believe he loves me, but the grief and pain scream He does not, He has abandoned me…
and then I hear, from a long distance, the anguished cry from the cross
My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?!
and He gently asks, again
what did you think following Me meant? when you asked to be made more like your Savior?
Don’t let anyone deceive you…carrying my cross means suffering and abuse and rejection and betrayal and…sometimes…deep, wrenching grief. but it is not as heavy as what i bore for you. there is proof of my love, yet.
and i am brought low. because the question that keeps running through my mind on this long walk has been the question of the ages…who sinned? this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
and that is my wrestling-was it me? so, so aware of my failure, my sin, my unworth that must have brought this scalding loss. or was it someone elses sin? pain and sin go together, no one argues that fact,
the logical question when faced with great pain is just where to lay the blame?
(psychiatrist couches and self-help books are just asking that question, you know?)
Job and I, we tiptoe back to God and lay the evidence at His sovereignty. because no matter where the sin is, it eventually comes back to “but God allowed it.” and satan claps his hands in delight because the next thought is:
“so…i am unloved. because my father cannot love me, and still allow this awful, searing loss.”
and all the wrestling comes back to faith. because it takes crazy kind of faith to look deep at fresh suffering, and real pain and come up with the ridiculous statement:
because when the crowds asked Him, His response was dripping with grace, and an answer they could not fathom…neither this man, nor his parents sinned (what? impossible) but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him…
I hit repeat on the ipod, again. i cannot bear to go home, yet.
i don’t have the strength, the joy that my family needs, deserves…i worry that i may not get it back, ever. i am not feeling any hope…
i think the past should stay neatly in the past and not jump out and rattle my content little daily life…but it doesn’t. I am fine with spiritual wrestling but let it be over with, once, a neat little package of surrender and done. how will i grow in maturity as His child if I keep being swayed by such strong emotions?!
and then i see the trees lining the road-
tall, regal pines. evergreens that tower.
They are majestic, consistent and unshaken by the changes in temperature and seasons.
I want my faith to be like them, unmoved by pain. untouched by fear. unbending to anger. Standing tall, a testament to their Creator.
but the spirit whispers truth…i am that little maple tree, shaking underneath.
in my brokenness over such weak faith that is mine, that cannot stand up against even this one-little-thing?!
and so i start to agree with God, yes I know-I am so, so small-
but His voice has a smile in it and He interrupts to whisper to my stunned heart, and I stop in my tracks at His quiet words…
He likes my diminutive little size, that needs Him so desperately…and…
He adores the blazing reds and oranges of my passionate, hurting angry heart.
and all that color displayed and dripping in brazen display?
it’s from dying.
and in this backwards kingdom, dying is what gives life.
and He loves me.
Oh! How He loves me!