When the world around you is crying…

IMG_3736Have you ever loved so much it just hurts?

Sometimes I can hold back loving so much so that it won’t hurt so much to let go. Because truth to be told, God has called us to love without reserve, but at the same time, He asks us to release.

This is something I’ve been contemplating a lot lately. Sometimes my heart hurts so much with the reality that the people around me that I care about are in pain. The world is in pain. Everywhere you turn, someone is aching and someone is crying inside and just needing to be valued and loved. Sometimes God opens the door to extend that love, and sometimes He doesn’t give the opportunity, and we have no choice but to leave them in His hands and know that His love is so vast and so much greater than we can comprehend and He holds them in His hands.

Lately my heart has been so weary of the pain that surrounds me. I want so badly to fix it all for the people that I care about; that are close to me. But I can’t. It brings me to the edge of a place of vulnerable trust unlike any other. It’s one thing to trust Him with your own story. It’s another to trust Him with the stories of people you care about so much it just hurts. There’s a feeling of helplessness and vulnerability in that, and it’s an opportunity for a different kind of surrender.

It’s where I’ve been lately, and it’s not fun, to be perfectly honest. What does God ask of us in these places?  I don’t always know what it looks like, and that frustrates me, to be perfectly honest. But sometimes I think He wants us in those frustrating places, when we honestly just don’t even know what to do with it all anymore…except turn to Him with hands uplifted and say, “Ok, God. Take it all. Take them…the ones that I care about and love. I know that you love them so much more and so much deeper than I ever could. So I trust You again to do what’s best.”

Sometimes all I want to do is be a fixer. I just want to do everything in my power to make it all better. But the truth is, that kind of attitude and fix-it attitude can totally mess up what God wants to do. Which is to bring each one of us to the cross, and face to face with Who He is for each of us. And for each of us to know Him, crucified. He’ll use whatever leads us to the cross.

That’s one thing when it’s just me…but when it’s someone that I love, I can hate it.

Release.

We can trust our God. He knows what He’s doing.

He is with us. Always.

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Is. 40

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Is He safe? Nope…but He’s Good.

Today I am asking questions and I am wrestling. It’s a wrestling, struggling sort of day. Inevitably, everyone must get to the point where we ask why. Why the suffering? Why the pain? What is the point? Why do we live in a world where children are abandoned and left without even one person to care for and love them? Why are little girls trapped in situations where they are repeatedly taken advantage of and abused? Why is there so often evil underneath the surface of what appears to be good, and in the corners and forgotten places? Why does a young mother lie in a hospital bed while her young children wander what is happening to their mommy? Why do good people find themselves attacked by diseases that weaken their bodies, leaving them helpless and wandering what good they can possibly be on this earth? Why do dreams die?

It makes me so angry at evil, so angry at the havoc that he creates wherever he goes. At the frustration that he brings to my life whenever I determine to give more to God—he hates it and attacks with a fury.

But more than that it makes me run to Jesus. Because: “There is no answer to the question of ‘Why?’ apart from Jesus. That God is part of the problem of suffering may not complicate matters after all. How, or to what extent, he created the problem, is not the question. He is the answer and we need him.” (Joni Eareckson Tada)

One of my favorite allegories is the series the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. One part that almost always brings tears to my eyes is the part when three children are searching for their brother who is being held captive by the white witch. The children hide in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. The Beavers are speaking in hushed tones about Aslan, a lion and the long gone King of Narnia, who has been rumored to be on the move again. The lion is symbolic of Christ.

“Is—is he a man?” asked Lucy.

“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the –sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great lion.”

“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King I tell you.”

This Sovereign God Who walks with me and has promised to never leave me or forsake me is not safe. No, anything but safe. And this life that I live with Him calling me and leading me isn’t safe either. Nope. Anything but. But He’s Good. He’s the King I tell you!

The pain reminds us that this is not our home…

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy? And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?