Even when I am bowed down by the weight of this world's brokenness (and my own), even when I see no way to fix my current situation or the world's fragile and hopeless state, I can look to my God, who sees all, who controls all, and who cares deeply about it all. Even when it seems like there is no hope for goodness in this world, even then he is actively working towards the redemption and restoration of it all.
This rhythm of hope and grief, hope and grief, hope and grief... it is growing a callous of trust in my heart. The skin is getting thicker. My spiritual muscles toughen as again I am invited to hope, again I am invited to lament, again I am invited to trust God more this month than I did last month.
Have you ever felt forsaken by God? Alone in your suffering? Have you ever felt that your prayers aren't heard by God? That no one, not even God, could understand the depth of what you are walking through? Regardless of what you are walking through, it's precisely here - in these darkest moments - that the events of Easter are so poignant...
The last few weeks have been overwhelming to say the least. Though my days have felt slower in some ways, my mind and my heart have been racing as I try to somehow process what is going on. But how in the world does one wrap their mind around something like this? How does one cope with it? And is coping even the answer? Is the right thing to do to put our heads down and weather through the days ahead, getting through to the other side of this whole thing unscathed?
This month's reads are a little different. They're not all books. Some are articles, some blogs, and some are audio sermon files. But all are words from other people that encouraged me to bravely look at grief. All of these words compelled me to learn to lament in a way that is hopeful and glorifying to God.
I get it. The happy-go-lucky posts might get more views. The fluffy, easy posts might garner more likes. But oftentimes the happy and the fluffy are masking what's really going on. And when it comes down to it, I'm not really sure that's what people actually want to read.
Grief can feel exceptionally heavy and lonely. It can lead us to cry out in confusion, "God, where are you?" It can feel natural, and oftentimes easier, to follow this spiral of despair. But it's here that we must turn our lament heavenward.
A guest post by Myra Dempsey... "She stomps snow off her boots; an audible shiver escapes her lips as she hangs her coat. Mallory glances again at the photo as she passes. A beautiful beach sunset. Some days when she sees it, the emotions of last summer’s vacation swell quickly. The picturesque moments of the trip overshadowed by the fear of her brother dying soon..."
Hope in God. David proclaims what I would do well to remember – that even if everything around me gives way, even if evil and darkness rule my life, there is still hope because God is unchangeable and steady and unshakeable, “His grace is the ground for unshaken hope” (Spurgeon).
Even if you are in a place where you don’t feel God’s love, it does not mean that He is not present. Even if the darkness does not lift, “the darkness is not dark to him” and there is still hope.
What do you do when you so heavily feel the weight of the brokenness of the world bearing down on you? When you are so overwhelmed with the pain caused by sin that you feel suffocated? When your heart aches with the hurt and grief of the people around you?
How do you let it more deeply root yourself in the goodness and love and sovereignty of the Lord?