“…when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds.
Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies.
You want a warrior Jesus.
You want a battlefield Jesus. You want His rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention.”– Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing
I’ve started a new book this evening, one that was given to me by a friend. To be honest, I’m nervous to read it. It sat in my purse all day, and I felt its weight as I went about my daily activities. This evening, with Tim putting the kids to bed, I sat down in the recliner in our bedroom and I began to read.
I never wanted to be here. Not again. Not on this journey. It feels raw, like a wound that had healed, only to be ripped open again when I least expected it. The positive pregnancy test is still sitting it its box in the bag I take to and from the shop. The line is still there. But I’m not pregnant. I have the scars on my stomach to prove it. I have the ache in my heart to remind me.
I stretched too far to reach something today, and one of my incisions started to bleed. Not much. Just a little. Enough to remind me my body is still healing, that precious little time has passed.
I have no urge to shake my fist at the heavens, to accuse God of carelessness or neglect. There is no comfort in asking why. I daily fight the urge to go numb… as if that were somehow the answer. But it’s not. I have to feel it. Every last drop of it if I am to heal properly. The secret isn’t in ignoring it, but processing it though what I know to be true…
My circumstances to not dictate God’s character.
He is still good.
He is still just.
He is still loving.
He is still forgiving.
He is still faithful.
He is still strong.
He is still in control.
In my grief, those are the things I remember.
God became man in the person of Jesus. He wore our flesh. He breathed our air. He felt our pain. He lived a sinless life, died a horrific sinner’s death, and conquered the grave to redeem our sinful nature. There’s a bigger picture- one we only catch mere glimpses of this side of heaven. In our mortal flesh, we won’t get all the answers and that’s okay, we don’t actually need them. It’s enough to know that God is there, working things out for our good and for our sanctification.
As Christians, we never walk the path of suffering alone. In fact, we don’t walk it at all- we meet it in battle with Jesus by our side.