I cried out to God in frustration, loneliness, and hurt. My head is soft and lumpy from banging it against the same old wall. I grabbed my ipod, my Bible, and my reading glasses, and headed for the couch, intending to stay there all night. That last sentence alone is enough to point to the difference that Christ makes in my life on a daily basis. I did not go searching for something or someone to make me feel better, to distract me from the hurt. Not chocolate. Not validation from an outside source. I brought my weariness to Jesus. The enemy is waiting for us to take our troubles elsewhere, to step off the path, so he can take us further away from the cross (1 Peter 5:8), but, that is a message for another time.
I put on my favorite song for hard times: David Crowder's All I Can Say, setting it to repeat on my ipod. That song reminds me that when the only thing I can hear is the sound of my heart shattering, Jesus is with me, weeping alongside me. I am not alone.
I opened my Bible to Romans, intending to read the part about living peacably with everyone as far as it depends on me, (Roman 12:18, incidentally, the chapter that the Bishop read in the royal wedding yesterday), and landed in chapter 8 instead. The Lord reminded me that hope seen is not hope, but that we must hope in that which is not seen, patiently.
Ugh. Patiently is not one of my favorite words.
This chapter also tells me that the Holy Spirit is always communicating my thoughts to the Father, and His thoughts back to me, even when I don't have the words. Even when all I can do is cry. I wondered how I was supposed to live in the meantime.
He reminded me that His is the only love that never runs out, and that He will supply all I need to give when I can't find it in myself. When I want to spew frustration and indignation on my or someone else's behalf, He will supply the love. Good thing.
I cried out to Him in frustration, wondering what else He wants from me, tired of being asked to walk the same stretch of road over and over. I cried out to him in longing, tired of the brick wall I feel like I'm up against, and He took me to Hosea, and with these words calmed me:
"Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us know the LORD; let us press on to know Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:2-3Feeling like I was living in the Saturday of the first resurrection weekend, hopeless, bleak, wondering what I was supposed to do now, these words lifted me up.These words filled the cracks of my parched soul, settling down deep in all the hurting places. I could feel the healing begin. He will restore me. He will revive me, when I know Him as LORD.
If there is a place in your life that has just worn you thin, taken everything you have to give and more, I promise you there is hope. Hope is not an abstract concept. Hope is real and His name is Jesus. You might feel alone, but you are not. I am praying that your heart and eyes be opened to this truth, which, by the way, is not an abstract concept either. Truth is real and His name is Jesus. You are not walking through anything that He is not fully aware of and walking with you. Hope and trust have become the buzz words of my days, hope in Christ and trust in His plan, and the knowledge that He will never leave me alone to face anything on my own. I am the one who walks away in frustration and anger, not Him.
One last word of encouragement, for both of us, from Isaiah: He will keep in perfect peace her whose mind is stayed on Him, because she trusts in you (26:3). Jesus is the difference between hope and despair. After listening to the song repeatedly, reading His word, and thanking Him for being everything I need, I made the long walk down the hall to sleep in my bed, where I belong. Anything less would not have honored the promises He makes to me.
If you are like me and find solace in music, this song might help you feel a little less alone.