"I can see the strength in you even when you can't". Timely words from a friend who couldn't know how tired and done I am.
It feels like my world has shrunk so small and that I'm not defined by much but my suffering. I get so sick of my own story, this story that leaves me feeling weak and out of control and needy. My body is tattered and beaten; I wonder if there will actually ever be an end to all this and I long for our old "normal", some of which can never even exist again.
My thoughts on suffering have evolved over a time. I've gone from what?!? I'm suffering? How can this be?? to Of course I'm suffering! All of creation has been groaning. Its not just part of my story, its part of the fallen world.
We all have broken things in our lives. That thing that we want God to fix. A sick body, a broken marriage, financial devastation, the wandering child, hurt from past abuse. Or that thing that hasn't happened. A promise unfulfilled, a better job, conception, reconciliation. Maybe its in his plan to fix it, or maybe on this earth it won't happen.
Even when he doesn't do what we want him to do, when he doesn't choose one of the (really good!) options we've presented to him, he is still good and we can still trust him.
We have an amazing children's Bible, the Jesus Bible Storybook. I love it because, starting from the beginning, each story ends with a reminder of the Savior and His redemption plan. Throughout the Old Testament stories, it tells of a Rescuer, Jesus, who would come to redeem us and save us from what we deserve because of his Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love. Because of that great love, we have hope in Jesus.
Whatever hard you find yourself in today, this year, this season, would you join me in renewing your hope in a God who knows the beginning from the end and loves us. Don't lose heart, don't give up!