There are days where my heart is so heavy that it’s hard to stay focused on the present. It’s easy for me to fold up into doubt, self-pity and my pain. It’s kinda comfortable there, because I spent quite a bit of time with those “friends” for a couple of years. It’s hard for me to be open and honest and vulnerable.
I just finished re-reading, The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God, by John Piper. This time I listened to him read it on the CD. Frankly, it was beautiful, raw, honest, and humbling. Job did not fight with God during his suffering. He did not argue. He was not content with the pain, but he was worshipful and joyous, because he knew who God was. His theology of suffering formed while he was in the midst of it, and at the end it was beautiful.
As I was reading/listening, there were times that I wanted to cry. My heart broke. I knew. I knew his pain to lose a child. He lost ten in one day. He had to tell his wife the hardest thing in the world and before he did he prayed for her. He prayed that she would keep trusting in the Lord. I could see the grief on Mike’s face when he had to tell me Tullie’s diagnosis the day that she was born. Aching sadness and despair. One of the hardest days of our life.
All of us who have experienced grief know the heartache that we’ll carry around forever.
“And now come, broken, to the cross,
Where Christ embraced all human loss,
And let us bow before the throne
Of God, who gives and takes his own,
And promises-whatever toll
He takes-to satisfy our soul.
Come, learn the lesson of the rod:
The treasure that we have in God.
He is not poor nor much enticed
Who loses everything by Christ.” (pg. 26)
I love that. Broken. Come to the cross. Through our suffering, we can learn about Jesus and the treasure what we have there, because He knows. He suffered for us.
“Sometimes the spark of faith is slight
And does not make the darkness bright.
But keep it lit and you will find:
Far better this than being blind.
One little flame when all is night,
Proves there is such a thing as Light.
Remember now the place and price
Where Jesus promised paradise.
One answered prayer when all is gone,
Will give you hope to wait for dawn.” (pg. 42)
When the darkness was at it’s heaviest, there were days I feared that there wasn’t even a flicker of light. But something would happen. Something little. Something that would give me that flicker of light in the darkness. Jesus promised paradise at the darkest place on earth. The day of His death on Calvary.
“Behold the mercy of our King,
Who takes from death its bitter sting,
And by his blood, and often ours,
Brings triumph out of hostile pow’rs,
And paints, with crimson, earth and soul
Until the bloody work is whole.
What we have lost God will restore –
That, and himself, forevermore,
When he is finished with his art:
The quiet worship of our heart.
When God creates a humble hush,
And makes Leviathan his brush,
It won’t be long before the rod
Becomes the tender kiss of God.” (pg. 78)
One day I will see my son and meet his friends at Jesus’ feet. We will be restored. In my pain and suffering, I can be joyful in who my Lord is. It doesn’t mean, I’m not going to cry or scream, but it does mean that I can trust my Lord and who He is.
My heart hurts, but my Lord mourns with those who mourns and He comforts the mourners.
“Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” James 5:11
*all quotes taken from, “The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God” by John Piper