Lately I’ve talked with some friends who are hurting. I should say, who are *also* hurting.
From my tiredness, feeling like a towel that has been wrung, all I feel is twisted and dry. I feel very cautious about saying anything about the hurt.
Though poets and celebrated authors have received acclaim and income from quantifying pain in the moment it is felt, I step lightly, tentatively around the discoveries made while in my own pain, until I am even just a step or two ahead on the path, and can look back and evaluate which parts were truth, mined from His Word, illuminated by God’s Spirit, and which parts were (for me) exploitative, manipulative, self-pitying feelings.
Through my own mess and exhaustion I can say that I am seeing God soften and shave off areas that have needed His editing for a long time.
I needed to be humbled and broken.
I needed for some of my comforts to be stripped of me.
I needed for Him to give me what I would never have chosen.
And then– gulp– because I see that NOW, I have to also acknowledge that whatever else He sends in my life, is what I will need, so that in the end I look more like Jesus. No matter how painful.
It would be easier not to see that– but God keeps reminding me that His goal for me isn’t for me to be supermom but to be like JESUS.
He is FIERCE about it. Committed to it. His aim– the dot on the target for me– is Christ-like-ness.
If somehow, through His tenacious grace, I persevere and cling to Him, the most gracious thing He can give me is the trials I would never choose. Part of the most true LOVE He can pour out on me is to send the rain and the wind in my life… to pelt me with hail, yes, sometimes even in my bruised spots.
And at that very same time, there is comfort & security there. He is a safe person to “fail” and fall in front of. No one needs to tell Him about mankind. He knows our weakness– that we are dust. He tells us that He will not break the one who is bruised. His love is dependable– He never fails.
When He sends the hard times, He does it for my good. He does it with eternity in mind. He does it knowing that my sanctification needs to be accomplished this way. He does it, knowing ME better than I know myself.
We need what we would never choose.