It took me days to write the story of young Grace and how her father declared the goodness of God in the face of her tragic death. My emotions caught me in my throat as I became engulfed in a flood of feeling. I have not known this kind of loss personally, but I have known my own kind and in my own ways. Perhaps you know loss all too well too?
I believe the more acquainted we are with grief, and the more we have walked through the process with all it’s ups and downs rather than shoving it aside as if it never existed, the more we are able to empathize with others when life hits hard and grief threatens to swallow you whole.
I also believe that when we choose to face the hard emotions of life, when we choose to walk through the very real pain that comes from the fullness of them, we experience God in new ways which bring about the kind of peace, joy, and freedom we long for.
Grief isn’t the only emotion I’ve known more of than I wish was my share. Depression, anxiety, and fear have taken their toll in waves. I’ve been shaken from the stresses of living beyond the limits God set before me. I’ve known the heart which curves inward while longing to live upward.
It’s when life disappoints you the most. It’s when you find yourself desperate and unaware of the good around you. It’s when everything shatters into shards, that the immutability of mankind’s limited nature is felt the strongest.
Our smallness is never more apparent and the hugeness of God never more evident than when we realize the scarcity of our own abilities.
Us or God. We want things our way. We think we want His, but do we really?
We want to believe every painful circumstance away. Speak it into being righted, here and now. When all along God is arousing our hearts to the glory of our hope, both present and future. He holds in store for us such things which are so far beyond our meager understandings.
Will we enter in? Will we choose to enter into the hard journey of walking through hurt? Or will we do what maybe we’ve done a thousand times before and look for all the byways?
Choosing to leave our pain aside only shoves it further inside. Like an untreated wound, it eventually blisters and bursts until we can’t take it anymore.
Choosing to walk into our pain allows it to work it’s way out.
You see, God is the giver of our emotions. He himself is an emotive God. He experienced anger, grief, pain, and sadness. Jesus, God’s only Son and yet still God, experienced immense suffering of all kinds. He was rejected. He was isolated. He was misunderstood. He was ridiculed and belittled.
Jesus surrendered every right to the Father’s will, to give us a future home with Him and to give us what we need to live well in our earthly home now.
We don’t have to wait to experience the goodness of God. We can have it known deep in our hearts while we remain here on earth. But in order to do so, we must allow God to go into the hidden parts of our souls. We must allow ourselves to be vulnerable in the face of our God who knows.
We need to explore what we really believe about ourselves, others, and God. And why we believe it. We need to recognize the beliefs we’ve had which limit our understanding of God or belittle our understanding of God’s creation, even of ourselves.
We need to replace our ungodly beliefs with the truths of God’s Word and we need to spend time in the presence of Jesus so we can truly know who He is as well as the comfort and courage He provides.
We need to choose honesty over hiding. If we keep on hiding, we keep on deceiving ourselves.
Like Adam and Eve, we hide in ridiculous garments we make for ourselves. We choose isolation and darkness where the enemy loves to speak enticing words. Yet, in the end, we’ve become more shackled then before.
When we choose to let God gently remove our leaves of shame, when we walk with Him through the pain of pride surrendered and hurts in need of healing, we begin to experience the freedom, joy, and peace which God offers to us.
We come to know a life well-lived.
If you’re wondering how you can experience the presence of Jesus through pain, there is hope. Spend time with Him today through reading His word, speaking back His promises to yourself, soaking in praise and worship, and choosing to find things you can be grateful for. For more help, I will be offering a new tool soon called, Unleash: Heart & Soul Care Sheets. For more information, please see this page.