For God so loved…John 3:16
We are the walking wounded, friend. I see your pain, feel it in your words; it is both pulsing and palatable. This is not a path we would have ever chosen, but it is ours to walk. We do it hand in hand, walking with an unseen Guest who knows our grief first hand. It was God and His Son, Jesus Christ who agreed to a plan that they would not have chosen either if there had been another way to save mankind from self-destruction in the hands of evil management of this world.
From my years on this journey I have the “vantage point” of reflection while looking back to remember all the stages and how God has led. You may not factor God in the equation and that is okay. But if you don’t mind I want to continue this train of thought.
I was born with an empty backpack waiting to be filled. All negative things were easy to store in my backpack which grew heavier as I grew older. I got busy raising a family, therefore, like most of you, holding down two jobs. There was always something to push my nose out of joint so in the backpack it would go. Maybe it was a snide remark made by a coworker or boss that I was afraid if I spoke up I’d be fired. Maybe it was a smart remark from one of my children as he skidded out of the driveway staying away until he thought it was safe to return . . . and I’d have forgotten. I have a memory like an elephant . . . for pain that is. So in the backpack it goes. There’s always room for more pain in there. Sound familiar?
And then the unspeakable happened. Suddenly, tragically, we lost our firstborn child to suicide. That pain would not fit in my backpack. It was the size of Mt. Everest and broke me. I shattered like shards of glass splintering in all directions. There was nothing left to salvage. The me I knew and others around me knew,was no longer. It seemed as if time should stand still now. The atmosphere void of oxygen. Not even a heart left to beat.
Perhaps you would describe your experience differently or maybe you are nodding in agreement. You can add more sentences and we would all nod in agreement for we are familiar with the trauma of sudden death. It sucks the life out of the living making even thinking about living impossible . . . for a time.
But I do have good news. God can recreate. It’s His specialty. He loves His sons and daughters on Earth with an unconditional love ~ a love so awesome He would agree to watch His own Son be murdered by our ancestors. He loves us still; both Father and Son love us inside and out. And they know the trauma we live. They suffer with us in our grief.
“Spiritual warfare against the world, the flesh, and the Devil is one long, continuous struggle. The battleground has front lines and rear flanks. There are soldiers of Christ and backsliders gone AWOL. The Enemy has a strategy, and he’s out to kill, maim, and wound. But God’s strategy is to advance His kingdom and reclaim enemy territory. ” ~Joni & Friends
God is fighting for us and Satan is fighting against us. And we are caught in the crossfire in this battle between Good and evil. There are converts on both sides. You and I have met both. Perhaps in your grief you have met those who don’t give you the time of day. In their ignorance they are allowing the enemy to speak through their mouths and work through their actions. This may be more than you can comfortably swallow and that’s okay. What I am suggesting is that the picture is much larger than our minds can fathom. The whole world groans with the actions of the enemy and God misses none of it. He hurts when the enemy destroys a child, any child. and too often it is our child. God is not the destroyer. Satan is. (John 10:10)
So where is the good news? This is how I describe it. God is recreating me brick by brick. I don’t know when I will be completed; perhaps I am a work in progress until Jesus returns. But I now know where to turn. I turn to God. I take off my heavy backpack and drop it at His feet with words that go something like this. “Here. You take it. I’m done carrying it.” This is an act of total surrender to a Power greater than myself who sees time from beginning to end and “giving up” is giving Him permission to act in my life. Surrender must be practiced daily for it is too easy for me to want to get behind the wheel and take over again. And even though my heart is often very heavy, my steps are light and my mind can sing His praises because I know I don’t have to fix what I am incapable of. That’s His job and He does it with love.
Bricks of hope, forgiveness, faith, love, trust . . .