Have you ever felt like roadkill? I don’t mean the kind where you can tell what kind of unfortunate animal stepped in the way of a speeding motorist, but the kind that has been on the road for days and that now is nothing but a flattened mass of gray fur barely discernible on the asphalt?
That is me this morning.
Yesterday was, perhaps, the roughest day I have had in forever. And today has begun with a continuation of yesterday’s drama because I can’t seem to let go. Replaying conversations again and again between myself and someone I care about…it is just serving to make me miserable.
Sadly, today is my daughter’s 15th birthday. I really must get over myself and not ruin her day. I can’t even give myself the luxury of processing the situation that has put me in this frame of mind.
Today, nothing is left, no one is home. I am spent. I am left scratching my mangled head (and heart) about why God seemed to have led me to do something if it was going to result in such overwhelming sadness for me and for another. Why did I feel *confidently* that he wanted me to leap into oncoming traffic if I was only going to be taken out? I thought (arrogantly, perhaps) that he was using me to run a rescue of sorts. Even as I type this, I feel a sense of “Woe is me…I am such a victim!” Good grief.
This morning, God met me in my grief. I could barely lift my eyes to look toward him. But HIS beauty is what this is about…HIS face, HIS life in me, HIS will, HIS love, HIS plan…and I must do faithfully that to which He calls and, as one wise friend recently stated, leave the response of anyone else to Him. I can grieve that she felt more led to roll over the top of me than to stop and pause and ask God what His plan in this experience was. But now it is time to peel myself off the pavement…or allow God to lift my eyes Heavenward.
What, after all, have I been crowing about here on the blog for the past few weeks?
As I opened my book to chapter 9, I was amazed yet again by God’s timing…that today, of all days, I would read these words–words I have read so many times before. Living a charmed life has some drawbacks. When I have an experience like yesterday, I feel totally unprepared, out of my element, absolutely uncertain what to do and how to move forward. So, in my previous readings of this chapter, it is fair to say, I have never been in quite the place that I was this morning.
I highlighted almost all of page 87, in fact. I want to share the words written there. I feel like the fact that God brought these words to my eyes and heart this morning shows his incredibly loving, sovereign, omniscient character:
…our current suffering isn’t the only truth upon which to focus. It isn’t even the primary truth. What our sovereign God has purposed in Heaven is more real than what we can see. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
We can rest assured that no suffering is wasted when it is placed in God’s hands. No single heart aches that His doesn’t ache all the more. The Scriptures teach that the Lord has a record of all our tears (Psalm 56:8). We know that Jesus wept with Mary and Martha….We know that one day our Lord will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Revelation 7:17).
God uses each and every tear we have shed and every pain we have experienced to form and mold our character, to strengthen us, and to draw us closer to His heart. He wants us to experience His strength and sufficiency. He uses our affliction to cause us to see our need for Him and our struggles with food, eating, and our bodies to send us to Him, to look for His solution. In our weakness, He is made strong. He uses even this personal battle you are experiencing and He will redeem it for His glory. (Thin Within, pages 87-88)
As you might well imagine, reading this and the following pages, encouraged my heart so very much. I felt like God was personally in the midst of my trial–He is!
I must admit, however, that in my tiredness and being overwhelmed emotionally, yesterday, I reverted to old coping mechanisms. Perhaps not to the extreme that I did in the past, but my heart was hardened and I wanted to no longer feel pain…to numb myself. I ate outside of godly parameters and drank Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi outside of godly parameters as well. :-/ I ignored the call of my Savior in these things.
he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
-Isaiah 30:18 (NIV)
The NASB renders this verse “He waits on High to have compassion on you…”
Why do I keep him waiting to show me compassion?
This morning Jesus no longer had to wait. 🙂 He met me in the quietness of my private time with him. What a gentle, loving, kind Shepherd.
At the bottom of page 89, I am asked directly, “Are you currently in the midst of a challenge or trial?” Well, yes…I am. Then, the book admonishes “Ask the Lord to reveal His purposes for allowing this trial…” Ok…so I wait. If nothing else, I am reminded yet again of how desperately needy I am for HIM. Apart from Him, I am lost.