I was standing there folding socks. One after another. And without even realizing it I found myself wrestling with the Lord.
I shut off all my emotions and got back to my “wifely duties”.
Before I could even blink, I was wrestling with Him again. This time at the kitchen sink as I bleached fruits and vegetables from the market this week. I knew I couldn’t run anymore. I had to face Him. Be real.
Lord, what are you doing? I don’t understand any of it. And honestly? I don’t like it. My heart is heavy and hurting and I just want it to stop.
The past few months have been dark and heavy. All the meanwhile I’ve seen the Lord more than I ever have. I’ve witnessed moments that are sweeter than words and I’ve seen His faithfulness in ways that I can’t even describe. Yet, there has been a weight.
There are so many things I don’t understand, and I’m starting to realize that’s okay. I’m starting to realize that I’m not created to understand. I’m starting to realize I’m created to trust in the One who understands.
I don’t understand why a father is taken from his family, but I know HE is a father to the fatherless.
I don’t understand why a child who has already lost his mother faces emotional and physical abuse daily, but I know HE sees him.
I don’t understand why an orphan leaves this earth at 6 years old, but I know HE is holding her now.
I don’t understand why the people we work with that are a part of our family lose their family members, but I know HE comforts them.
I don’t understand why babies and little ones don’t have the chance to grow up, but I know HE is Sovereign.
Sunday night at staff church, Matt was sharing about the majesty, power, and greatness of our Lord. We read scripture after scripture accounting to His holiness and I was left in awe. I know the Lord is holy. I know the Lord created the earth and everything in it. I believe that. Yet, I wrestle with Him when He chooses to take little ones home to be with Him. I wrestle with Him when ones I love witness real and hard things. I wrestle with Him when people dear to my heart mourn the loss of a loved one.
But I still believe He is in control. I still believe He holds each and every one of them in His hands.
How can I believe that, yet feel so burdened? How can I believe the Lord knows all, yet feel so frustrated when children are abandoned. Does He not see them? Does He not want better for them?
This morning I was studying 1 Peter and was slapped in the face again with the truth that to follow Christ is to suffer with Christ – but suffering isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Yes, it’s painful and hard. But the Word testifies that suffering produces good things.
Suffering makes us more like Christ.
We are reconciled to God through Jesus’ suffering.
Blessings come from suffering.
“Christ, while deeply and truly understanding our suffering, has also provided an end to suffering once and for all.” -SRT
What a beautiful promise. What a beautiful hope.
If I truly believe that He uses all things for His Glory and all things for our good, then I know that He is using each of these circumstances to bring Himself glory and for the good His people.
I believe that. I truly do. That does not minimize the pain of death. The frustration with injustice.
It points me to Him.
In staff meeting today, we walked through Psalm 13. I found myself slapped in the face, yet again, with the truth that the Lord is faithful even when I’m faithless. He’s faithful even in the hard things. He. Is. Faithful.
David is crying out to the Lord asking some hard questions (v. 1-4). But verse 5 stopped me in my tracks.
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.”
In the midst of David’s pain, in the midst of the sorrow, he still trusted in the Lord’s steadfast love. Did you see that? Have = past tense. Even during David’s moments of crying out to the Lord wondering what in the world He is doing, David still trusted in the Lord’s steadfast love. Okay, so I trust in the Lord’s love and sovereignty, but these situations that are happening daily are still heavy and my heart still hurts.
The next part is what gets me.
“my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” Shall…. not is…. not has…. but shall. David isn’t currently rejoicing in salvation. He’s mourning. His heart is heavy. He still trusts in the Lord, but he’s not to the point of rejoicing yet.
So, David trusted in the Lord’s steadfast love in the midst of a really hard season and knew that he would rejoice in salvation at a time to come. He praised the Lord in the midst of it all, yet his heart was still heavy. Rejoicing will come.
Rejoicing will come.
I’m still standing at the kitchen sink, cutting fruits and vegetables. Processing all that is happening in my world. All that’s happening in the lives around me. All that’s happening in this country. In this world.
Tears stream down my face as I feel peace, real peace for the first time in a while.
The Lord is good, friends. He is faithful. He has a plan and purpose. What a sweet hope we have in Him and in His salvation.
Will you join me in praying? I know myself, Matt, our staff, and Mission of Hope as a whole would deeply appreciate your prayers. Prayers for the Lord’s provision and protection. Prayers for the Lord’s strength. Prayers for endurance. Prayers for peace.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for running this race alongside us and lifting us up. The Lord is at work and I am so excited for the day when we will look back and rejoice at the Lord’s deliverance and faithfulness.