This is not our home...
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Recently, life hasn't been very kind to some who I love dearly. I used to get angry at God, because I wondered why, on top of everything else, He drops just one more thing onto their already heaping plates. Sometimes I cry out to Him on their behalf, feeling as if my prayers are bouncing off empty walls, the tears forgotten and unheard...
I think about all the hardships everyone in my life has to face. Abuse. Infertility. Death. Unwanted divorce. Miscarriage. Cancer. Loss of jobs. Adultery. And I just sink to my knees, numb with the pain.
I remember my own searing pain...the beatings, the names, the possibility of him being taken from me so soon, the deaths, the loneliness...and I cry all the harder, not really understanding why some get off so easily it seems, while others were born to suffer, never given relief from the deep ache.
And I used to wonder where God was in all of this. "Where were you when he was beating me! You could have stopped it!" I used to sob. Or, "Where were you when she died? Did you even care? I didn't feel you!"
Some don't ask. Some know where He is when their world ends. It took so long for me to realize where He was. And do you know what it took? It took more pain. More tears of grief. It took my world ending, time and time again, for me to finally realize where He was.
He was there all along. He wasn't just there, He was holding me, through it all. And He knew, with all of His wisdom and unfathomable love, that the pain wouldn't be nothing. He knew that it takes hard winds, tornadoes sometimes, to level our very hearts, only to be built back up to what they were created to be.
"What if trials of this life, are His mercies in disguise?" What if the pain, the hardships, are our prayers being answered? Our prayers for a stronger love for Him, a stronger faith, a more compassionate heart?
I know mine were. I have felt such depths of pain, I thought I was going to die, and when someone says that, I don't roll my eyes. I feel it. I know what they are talking about. I weep for them. Sometimes, that is all someone needs. And I wouldn't be able to extend that compassion, that comfort, unless I had gone through what I did. And God has eternally helped people through my pain, and I praise Him, and thank Him, that He knew what He was doing, even when I so naively questioned it.
Oh how I wish I could gather up all the hurting, all the pained ones, and just impart to them some measure of comfort, some measure of the peace and healing I have received. But I know that the only way I received it, was through more pain, more struggling, more questions. This life, I think it's meant to hurt. Jesus' life hurt a lot, and we're supposed to strive to be like Him. It makes sense, though, you know? If we didn't ache, if we didn't lose, if the things we love weren't taken from us, how would we know how truly desperately we need Him? That we can't do it on our own, no matter how much we like to pretend?
"Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise"
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
So do not fear, for I am with you;do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.