I’ve really just been clinging to God lately. I’ve been really aware of my weaknesses. It’s an uncomfortable admission and an uncomfortable experience. We want to be strong. But we’re not.
Illness does a great job at making a person humble. I don’t know about you, but half the time I walk around thinking, “I’ve got this” about the stuff in my life. But I really don’t “got this.”
What about attacks not to the body but to the mind? To the emotions? Grief is kin to illness. An assault on our person of a different type. We think “we got this,” but we really don’t. We are powerless to bring our loved one back. We are powerless to stop the hurt inside of us.
Sounds like a real downer, but I haven’t lived on this planet for several decades and not learned that from great adversity may come great rewards. In other words, good stuff can come from really hard stuff. All that hard stuff behind me? It’s taught me to be resilient. To press on. To believe that this too shall pass. And if I am willing, I will learn things that I can’t learn any other way. And in the midst of the trial? I find God.
Picture a woman in a terry cloth robe in a dimly lit room, her face wet with tears. She screams at the top of her lungs, grabs the Kleenex box and throws it like a football against the closet door.
That was me many years ago. Another sleepless night of torture. Tired but unable to rest. Again. Who was I screaming at? God. He wasn’t fixing my insomnia. I pleaded and pleaded. No fix.
Right now, the Kleenex boxes in my house are safe. And I’m not screaming at God anymore, at least not yet. Maybe I’ve learned something that will stay with me even if things get worse.
I’m not nearly as trusting as I should be, but I believe more than I did years ago that God really isn’t going to leave me in the lurch. He isn’t being mean. He doesn’t do things the way I would, but he isn’t without compassion. He works in ways I cannot yet detect.
I got to that point on the back of a previous heartache. A grief. A loss. I learned something, and now I think of that heartache and I smile because God came out as my rescuer. My protector. A true friend. I thought God was being unfair for not giving me what I wanted. In fact, he was withholding something that might have killed me. And I’m not being figurative.
So I meditate on that deliverance. And I know that some kind of way, God will get me out of this one, too, and I’ll look back with the full story in hand and smile.
Until then, instead of throwing Kleenex boxes, I calmly talk to God in the middle of the night. He’s a friend by my sick bed, and that’s enough for me. He will come through for me, but probably in a way I will not predict. And not being a respecter of persons, he will do the same for each of us, in ways we cannot predict.
What do you turn over in your head that gives you hope and peace that God will come through for you even in the most impossible moments?
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