Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Where is God in Pain?

Today was a thinking, pondering, thoughtful, meditative sort of day... 

I was going thru my chest of journals...I can't even close the lid now because I have so many! Mmmm...amazing how reading an entry can instantly take you back to that moment. I was reading thru an old prayer journal entry...full of prayers.  Realizing that at the time those prayers seemed so impossible...and now, years later, God has answered many of them.  Wow! You know how God had the Israelites set up stones of remembrance so they wouldn't forget certain things that God did for them?  I guess that's kinda how my journals are for me...It's so easy for me to forget all the things that God has done for me unless I document it.  It's sad that as humans we forget things so quickly and so easily...but God understands.  That's why He had the Israelites have specific Holidays and memorials...to *remember*. 

One moment my mind traveled back to was the year everything seemed to go wrong. From Dad losing his job...to us losing our house...a couple years into my health problems and Drs still couldn't figure out what was wrong....my brother was in and out of the hospital getting eye surgery and open heart surgery...etc...etc...  God seemed so distant and so far away. On one of those dark days I walked to a favorite spot of mine to talk to God...layed down in the grass and started watching as these dark storm clouds rolled in.  As if the day could get any worse the sun had stopped shinning and it was raining...at least rain was a good way to hide tears. I laid there...repeating in my memory all the verses and promises of God that I had hidden in my heart.  I knew they were real...but didn't see any of them.  There was a lot of pain in my heart from so many different things going on in my life at the time...I just remember with tears streaming down my face saying out loud as I looked up into the dark storm clouds, "God...I can't see you...where are you?"  At the very moment I ended my question some of the dark storm clouds parted and this gorgeous, beautiful ray of light vividly shone thru.  It was almost as if I could hear God saying, "Monica, just because you can't see me...doesn't mean I'm not here.  I'm here, Monica...behind every storm cloud...behind every moment of pain...behind the darkness...keep looking up...keep looking for me...I am here." The heaviness in my heart instantly lifted...a peace and joy filled me.  A smile came and the tears kept coming...but this time, they were tears of loving gratitude that I had a Savior who loved me and was there...even when I thought I couldn't see Him.  All of a sudden my perspective changed.  There was hope, light, life, joy and peace.  No, nothing dramatically changed over night with my circumstances...it was still a very long process...but God was there!  Walking thru with our family!  Leading...guiding...loving us...providing for our every need and being our All Sufficient One.

That was several years ago...but tonight, as I'm struggling with a whole different set of issues, I'm clinging to what God taught me that day under the clouds.  Again, I'm facing something that hurts...tremendously...again I'm facing something that is hard to see God in...  And yet, in this new storm, I know He's right behind the cloud. I know that He's here.  I know that no matter what He cherishes my heart and doesn't send pain to me or anyone else unless He knows it's going to accomplish something greater and something more valuable than if everything was perfect and easy.  It's in these moments I run to God harder...faster...and more desperately...  "I have been driven to my knees many times with the overwhelming realization I had no where else to turn."  Abraham Lincoln said that, and right now...tonight...this very moment that's exactly how I feel.

Tonight I was over at someone's house who is experiencing an even deeper pain than I've ever had to experience. The pain of a loss...the loss of life.  I feel like there's so much pain right now all around me...and I don't know why.  I don't understand it.  But I know...that when we allow this pain to draw us closer to our Savior...He shares with us deep, comforting truths that He can only share with us when we're in pain.  Things we'll never forget.  Things that will make us deeper and draw us closer to Him. Things that will allow us to reach out to others in their pain...things that will make Heaven even sweeter.   And often times, "God finds His best soldiers on the mountains of affliction."  He allows pain...and "He never wastes our pain." 

"And the peace of God, which surpasses ALL understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4:7



The Unfailing One 

by Francis Havergal

HE who hath led will lead
All through the wilderness;
He who hath fed will feed;
He who hath blessed will bless;
He who hath heard thy cry,
Will never close His ear;
He who hath marked thy faintest sigh,
Will not forget thy tear.
He loveth always, faileth never;
So rest on Him, to-day, for ever!

He who hath made thee whole
Will heal thee day by day;
He who hath spoken to thy soul
Hath many things to say.
He who hath gently taught
Yet more will make thee know;
He who so wondrously hath wrought
Yet greater things will show.
He loveth always, faileth never;
So rest on Him, to-day, for ever!

He who hath made thee nigh
Will draw thee nearer still;
He who hath given the first supply
Will satisfy and fill.
He who hath given thee grace
Yet more and more will send;
He who hath set thee in the race
Will speed thee to the end.
He loveth always, faileth never;
So rest on Him, to-day, for ever!

He who hath won thy heart
Will keep it true and free;
He who hath shown thee what thou art
Will show Himself to thee.
He who hath bid thee live,
And made thy life His own,
Life more abundantly will give,
And keep it His alone.
He loveth always, faileth never;
So rest on Him, to-day, for ever!

Then trust Him for to-day
As thine unfailing Friend,
And let Him lead thee all the way,
Who loveth to the end.
And let the morrow rest
In His beloved hand;
His good is better than our best,
As we shall understand,--
If, trusting Him who faileth never,
We rest on Him, to-day, for ever!


I don't really have a final point or ending to this post...I just really needed to write tonight.  I feel like this post is incredibly scattered and that I should read and re-read to make sense of it and write it out in a more fluid manner...but I'm not going to.  I'm going to post it for what it's worth.  And after I post it, I am going to again give everything to Jesus, trust it all into His care and then fall asleep with the knowledge that yes, even now, He is at work behind the storm clouds...and just at the perfect moment, when the rain has completed it's work, the sun will shine again. <3



Trusting my All-Sufficient One (Jesus),
Love,

Monica

6 comments:

  1. Aww, this brought tears to my eyes Monica, because I know how hard it is to trust God when you don't understand, and yet it is during those super rough times that we draw closest to Him! And it is during those storms God often teaches us the greatest and most precious lessons!! Keep trusting Him precious girl!! He is totally and completely trustworthy!! I love you Monica <3

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    1. Amen, girl. Yes, He IS totally and completely trustworthy. <3 Amen. Love you. <3

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  2. Beautifully written Monica and I'm praying for you and your friend!

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  3. Keep writing Monica. I journal too...I know exactly how it feels to look back at those excerpts and see how God brought me through. So grateful for your testimony and faithfulness to God. You are an encouragement to people you don't even know. I always look forward to reading your thoughts. Love and prayers!!!

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    1. Go you for journaling, Hannah!! <3 <3 Let's both keep it up! I go thru seasons where I am faithful in it...and seasons where I am not faithful in it. Trying to be better at it...when I do it, it's always a blessing. :) Well, Praise the Lord and thanks for reading. Your comments/posts are always a blessing to me!

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Well "hey" there!!

Always good to hear from you. :)

God bless you with a *beautiful* day.

~Monica