Some raw and unfiltered thoughts this afternoon…
I laid down to rest a little while ago, and in the quiet spaces lately I usually cry for awhile. And I felt very free, because I could be a snotty mess and no one would see, and very lonely, because no one would see. I felt sad and a little annoyed that I would probably fall asleep and my tears would dry up and my husband would never know. I’m much better at being caught in the act than revealing it later.
Then I remembered that someone does see all my tears. Every single one. And I felt comforted by that. I wasn’t alone. God was here, reminding me of his love. This felt like a big deal after what has been a week of feeling far from him and wondering why he hasn’t chosen to comfort more tangibly before now, even though I’ve called out to him.
So I asked a hard question: God, I know you see me, and you are big enough and powerful enough that not a single tear slips down my cheek without your notice. You’re also big enough and powerful enough that you could have chosen to let my baby girl live.
Why catch my tears, but not save my baby?
It felt scary to ask such a brazen question, but also fair, and he didn’t seem to mind.
I knew the answer. “You can trust me. I promise you everything will be good someday. Everything. Every. Single. Thing.”
The God who says this has experienced the loss of a beloved child. And he has walked through dark nights feeling far from his father.
Jesus hung on the cross and cried out:
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? Oh my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy. … In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. (Psalm 22:1-5)
Jesus felt alone, and still trusted.
And his father was not aloof or far away. His anguish over his son’s death couldn’t be more obvious:
While Jesus hung on the cross “darkness came over all the earth” (Matt 27:45). When Jesus slumped forward and died, God’s grief literally shook the planet, ripped the temple curtain in two, split rocks apart, and opened graves, out of which walked long-dead saints (Matt 27:51-53).
The God who did not spare his own son, but gave him up so I could live, knows exactly what I’m feeling yesterday, today and tomorrow. He knows it even better than me. He loves even greater than I do. My aching love for my children is still less than his:
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” (Isaiah 49:15-16)
This God promises to turn my sorrow to joy.
I believe him. Weeping may last the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).