“Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
As I read this passage in the quiet, early hours of a really bad Tuesday morning, peace and promise began to wash over and flood every corner of my sleepy little space. I could feel the urgency in the Lord’s presence. I’m right here. Just hold on a little bit longer. I promise it’s almost over. I am so sorry these things are hurting you. You are so close.
How’s your heart?
This seems to be the question of the hour. So far my answer has been a resounding, “you know, there isn’t a word for being absolutely devastated and absolutely excited at the same time.” Because, I mean—there’s not. There are no rules for having a heart that has been absolutely obliterated by the goings-on of life, and yet despite the cracks is constantly being filled to the brim with hope and joy.
Being a word girl, I’ve struggled so much with not having “good words” or a name for my current condition. Totally broken yet totally sustained. What the heck do you do with that? Heartbreak. Rejection. Exhaustion so deep that your bones ache. As my sweet friend put it best, “in simplest terms I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.”
Much given and equally as much taken. An all-out brawl with myself to keep my emotions at bay and my body out of bed. Prayers that were once hallelujahs now empty shells of small insignificant words strung together in my best attempt to make my soul believe a promise that I knew so long ago; clinging with white knuckles, fighting for the breath to push them between my quivering tearstained lips:
He is good. He is for me.
He is good. He is for me.
And yet somehow—almost as if my heart knows something my weary mind is wrestling to wrap itself around—there is this stillness welling up inside of me knocking and waiting patiently to make itself known.
“I will go before you and level the uneven places; I will shatter the bronze doors and cut the iron bars in two. I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches from the secret places, so that you may know that I, Yahweh, the God of Israel calls you by your name.”
Just before I am pushed over the edge, I am pulled back and I am reminded that He goes before and behind. He has been here. I am hemmed in. Just as He knows the secret places of my heart, He has known this darkness and promised treasure to be found here. The love of a God so true and so trustworthy who has never once let me hurt without purpose. He has seen this pain. He felt it on the cross when He carried it there for me.
Maybe you’re walking through the death of a loved one and you are angry with God. Or maybe without warning someone loved you yesterday and they don’t today and you’re left questioning without answers. Or maybe you made a decision that will alter the trajectory of your life forever and you’re wondering if maybe just maybe this world would be better off without you. You got cut from a team or promises fell short and you’re bitter, whatever it may be hear this: His gifts are always more.
When we are in Christ, even when we don’t understand, rejection almost always equals protection. John 13:7 promises, “you do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will.” Psalm 126:5-6 goes even further to say that, “those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”
This is not where we lay down and die. There is so much life to be lived on the other side of this pain. One day these moments will only be memories and there will be scars in place of the wounds that are hurting you now. Until then, He is good. He is for me.