Two realizations this week:
1. I hate being tired.
2. I hate being sad.
And this week has been the week for both. I have received glorious news, but also news that others are not surviving. It has certainly been a mixed bag - and now that I am at the end of this week, the emotional roller coaster has left me jerked around and worn out.
I read a blog post by a dear friend (who at the moment wants to remain nameless), addressing the same feeling I have.
Why, Lord, is it necessary for cancer to return, after it has been already been beaten back, to steal the life of a mother of two, when her oldest hasn't even reached the teenage years?
Why do some people, incredibly selfish & self-serving people, get so many chances only to waste them?
Why does evil prevail, crime continue and love struggle to take root?
This is the deep end of the pool - to face suffering and cry out. Often, we don't hear the answer. Not that there isn't one, it is just our ears aren't tuned to that frequency at the moment. Only time can prepare us to see and hear what The Lord is doing.
Fortunately, He doesn't leave us clueless.
I have taken solace in two verses this week: Luke 8:25 and John 12:24.
In the first, Jesus has completely stunned His Disciples by calming the gale-forces surrounding them. It is a very Disciple-like response that these guys would be so awed by His Power, even though they just heard Him preach the most earth-shattering messages to thousands.
But in the middle of a perfectly still sea - He looks at them and asks them where did they put their faith? In Him or what they can see with their eyes?
It is a valid question, and one I hadn't realized He was asking me, till just yesterday. I always thought, reading this before, He was scolding them for their well-known density. But, I believe, He was just as in awe at their misplaced faith, as they were in awe at His power. He wanted them to look AT HIM, not just what He is doing.
Or, in my case, what results I was not seeing from His Hand.
The second verse is incredibly comforting, especially in the midst of suffering. It is along the lines of taking up your cross daily. It is not only a call to die to yourself, but sometimes, to literally die.
I read the book Same Kind of Different As Me this week. This verse was quoted when, after a long, terrible battle with colon cancer - one of the author's wife dies. Her death prompts many to come to The Lord and pour out their love on the homeless of Fort Worth. I'm ok with death. I know she is in a far better place. But reading about her anguish was more than I could bear.
And there Jesus was, right in the middle of this week that has been about glory and suffering, great news and bad, asking me:
Do you want to be found?
It is clear the question I must answer is if I want my faith to have eternal significance or do I just long for the momentary comfort?
This is the deep end of the pool. And I'm a good swimmer. But part of me wants the momentary comfort - I don't want everything to have eternal significance. I want, I need a break. He gets that. He understands I'm only human and I need the storm to cease once in awhile, for sanity's sake.
But I still have to answer.