Wednesday, September 21, 2011

'rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation'

I... (sob) just... (sob) am so (sob) tired (sob) and I (sob) don't under(sob)stand (sob) and I don't (sob)  know (sob) what to (sob) do...  etc. etc. etc. etc.

I don't often sob and I don't often ask the Lord 'why?' and I don't often cry out vocally to the heavens.   But the proverbial straw had broken the proverbial camel's back and an avalanche of built up frustrations came tumbling as I sat out just under a giant oak tree and a sunny sky in the middle of the boondocks. I had hurriedly stuffed about six pieces of Kleenex into my pocket before heading out for a walk, and by the time I got to the back of the property, I had used most of them.  There I sat down and promptly flooded out the last two remaining tissues and unburdened my heart to the Lord.  It's a good time to get-a-grip when you realize you're on your last Kleenex, which I was, and so I did... and then finished my walk.

Life is so peculiar.  So confusing sometimes.  So full of question marks, you know?

I read this in my Streams in the Desert devotional (from this entry ) the next day:

"Friend, you do not have to understand all God’s ways with you. God does not expect you to understand them. You do not expect your child to understand, only believe. Some day you will see the glory of God in the things which you do not understand."

Balm for the soul, that's what.

The answers we can't see, the pain we can't understand, the way covered in obscurity, it's all okay.   Some day, we will see the glory of God in the things we do not understand.  Right now, we know enough: His heart is good and His plans are perfect and pain is good for us.

The circumstances and hurts which are the Potter's fingerprints at work, while sometimes not near difficult trials compared to others, are painful and meant to inflict pain.  A friend recently shared with me this concept that C.S. Lewis wrote about in The Problem Of Pain (next on my reading list!): we tend to say that our trials are nothing compared to the starving in Africa... While there is truth in that and such knowledge ought certainly to keep us from the pit of self-pity, pain is God's tool, and to attempt to brush it off as nothing is to diminish the good work that pain is meant to accomplish.  At least I believe that to be the concept, although someone who has read the book might need to correct me.  At any rate, I thought it was a good one and worth pondering.

In summary: while we shouldn't wallow in our pain to the point of self-pity, we should accept it and let it do it's perfect work in our souls. 

Amy Carmichael wrote a poem I love a lot, For in Acceptance Lieth Peace:

He said, "I will forget the dying faces;
The empty places,
They shall be filled again.
O voices moaning deep within me, cease."
But vain the word; vain, vain;
Not in forgetting lieth peace.

He said, "I will crowd action upon action,
The strife of faction
Shall stir me and sustain;
O tears that drown the fire of manhood, cease."
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in endeavor lieth peace.

He said, "I will withdraw me and be quiet,
Why meddle in life's riot?
Shut be my door to pain.
Desire, thou dost befool me, thou shalt cease."
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in aloofness lieth peace.

He said, "I will submit; I am defeated.
God hath depleted
My life of its rich gain.
O futile murmurings, why will ye not cease?"
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in submission lieth peace.

He said, "I will accept the breaking sorrow
Which God tomorrow
Will to His son explain."
Then did the turmoil deep within him cease.
Not in vain the word, not in vain;
For in Acceptance lieth peace.

 Acceptance of pain, acceptance of circumstances, of direction or lack thereof, is where peace is found.  But we can only accept these trials, if we realize that in our hand is a coin with two sides... on one side, pain... but on the other, promises.  Beautiful, true promises that we can bank on.  Promises that the Lord is at work even when we cannot see.  That what Satan means for evil, God means for good.  That He works out all things for our good and His glory.  That it will be okay in the end because, some day, we will see the glory of God in the things we do not understand.

That is all we need to know for now and it is enough for today.

"Cling to what is good... not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer."  (Rom. 12:9b,11,12)


Amelia said...

Oh my Marianna. I know....It has been SOME week.

We will trust and rest and rest and trust.

Crying is a good thing.

God holds every tear in Heaven and feels every pain. I don't know what this week has been all about but it must be a spiritual battle of sorts, it was just too bizarre. Just too bizarre...

Thank God you have a whole home here, a place where you can get as many hankies as you want, and when you use those up you can get in the toilet paper stash too...and no one will gripe because your using too much toilet paper and when you use the toilet paper stash up you can even use my Grandma's beautiful cotton hankies she would never use. Trust me. She wouldn't mind, and boy if she could tell a few people off this past week let me tell you she would have! You know the day, there was an hour or two in time this week where I felt like lugging around a roll of toilet paper blowing my nose myself, carelessly throwing the used pieces over my shoulder...I didn't do that but I felt like it. The whole day I felt like a mushy mess.

Sometimes things are not fair and almost criminal but God will take care of it. People have gone mad these days I do believe. So many families suffering in really bad ways that don't seem to have much of a safe haven any more. Let's lift them up to the Lord and think of their sufferings this week too. The Father is looking out for you Marianna. He will be your advocate in so many ways. I know it's been hard, very, very very hard...*tears*

You are loved time infinity!

Ryan said...

Courage, My Friend. This doesn't mean being unafraid or imervious to pain. It means feeling to the full everything God sends and thanking Him for it. Colossians 1:24

Jane B. Gaddy said...


My heart is hurting for you as I read this, thinking how very young you are to bear such heavy hurts that would require so many tissues! I love that Jesus was "touched by the feeling of our infirmities." He was touched! Which means he knew in eternity past that we would need to lean heavily upon him. He sees our tears, feels our pain. And C. S. Lewis says he "speaks loudest in our pain." When we walk with him, he gives the victory, sometimes in the moment, sometimes later. In his omniscience, he knows just when enough is enough and he comes to our rescue. I think you got it... "In acceptance lieth peace..." God is so eternally good to give of himself in the person of the Lord Jesus and in the person of such a loving mother as you have. You are richly blessed!

More hugs from Jane BG in Trinity, Florida!

Press on, honey!

Marianna said...

You all are so kind! So very kind. Thank you each for your encouraging words! They each mean more than you know, I'm sure, and I am thankful for y'all. I truly am "richly blessed"!! The Lord allows and gives pain and it is *good*, just as everything that flows from His loving hand and heart is GOOD, and I am thankful for it's touch in my life- but especially for those who stand on the sidelines and cheer me on and/or those who walk beside me. Thank you all again, so much. <3