"You don't deserve this!!"
These are the words I wanted to shout in all caps into a text. I wanted to hit send and launch these words to a fellow sufferer. But I didn’t. I deleted. The words were gone. The text was blank.
I couldn’t speak what I wanted to say to her. My words were too sharp, too angry, and too full of falsehood. By human accounts she doesn’t deserve what she’s going through. She doesn’t deserve the loss and the uncertainty.
Then my mind carries me to a song I haven’t sung in a very long time.
My God is so BIG, so strong and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do.
Do I believe that? I’m not sure I do. If I did I wouldn’t have trapped him inside my box of great expectations and expected Him to perform to protocol. I wouldn’t have soaked the carpet with my angry, hot, bitter tears.
Even in my greatest moments I can’t understand God to the fullness of who He is. HE is all things I am not. So, when I look at the brokenness around me that rips hearts open and tears families and changes people with disease, death, and disappointment, my vision is blurred. It’s a disaster and she doesn’t deserve this, they don’t deserve this, I don’t deserve this.
And I am guilty. Guilty of replacing God with self, and self-made things. So, I do deserve this. What I don’t deserve is His loving mercy. I don’t deserve is His attention. What I don’t deserve is His atoning sacrifice. What I don’t deserve is His love.
MY eyes burn as I type and my throat swells with growing emotion. And then another song floods. Another song – a reminder from another friend – catches in my ear.
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand. All of other ground is sinking sand.
I am on sinking sand. And I’m going fast, Peter collapsing beneath the waves.
Jesus, save me!
The sand is soft and warmed by the sun – perfect for clear sky days. It invites travelers to recline and dream in its false security. But then the storm comes and sand moves. The grains take flight changing the landscape and burying anything present and suffocating it in the past.
The firm footing of rock means my feet will grow calloused. The earth beneath me will not be soft and inviting. It means the waves will still beat. It means the sun will still be blocked out by storm.
But my God is so big. And when the storm comes I am held up. I can still see hope. He is still God. That is all I know now. HE is still God.
All I know is He is still God. God beyond my comprehension. And because He is still God there is still hope. While I see brokenness, He already sees healing. While I see tears; He can hear the laughter in the distance. While I am awash in grief; He bears my burdens: past, present, and future. When I feel crushing disappointment and loss, He says “See how much I love you?”
“I love you enough to disappoint you.”
SEE HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU!? Suffering, as seen on the cross, is inextricably linked to God’s grace, mercy, love, and healing. Suffering is not wasted in the hands of our Lord. Disappointment is a pruning tool, loss is a sieve, and suffering is a healing.
All the while we may kick and scream, He holds us tightly whispering, “I love you.”
He loves me. Oh, He loves me. And He loves her. And He loves you. You don’t deserve it. But that makes it the best kind of love.
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