The age old tradition of colorful new dresses, bow ties and saddle oxfords filled the church foyer this morning. Proud grandparents holding babies celebrating their first Easter, introductions were made of those visiting from out of town … it was just as you would expect for Easter morning at church. The sanctuary was full, we took our seats in the back just as we have done before. The music, picked especially to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus began and I settled in for what I thought would be just another sermon on this Sunday morning.
Romans 8:18 “Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us …”
Within minutes I was overwhelmed with the message. He talked of hurt, brokeness, physical limitations … at this moment there was not another person in that sanctuary. It was me and our pastor and this message was being delivered as if he and I were sitting at a table talking over a cup of coffee. The more he spoke the familiar sting that I have grown so accustom to began to fill my eyes. He kept using the word broken and the more he said it, the more I felt it. He spoke generously to our experiences in life and how we have all felt these things, we have all struggled through a time when we wondered if this was the life that God had chosen to give us and why. There are times, and a great many I hate to admit that I question, truly question God when He takes me down yet another path full of obstacles. It is incredibly easy to look around and get caught up in the life others have. Their happiness, the love they share with another, the blessings that God continues to bestow on them. I am so guilty of this especially when it comes to Elizabeth. I always think you are just so lucky to have healthy children, which turns into a spiral of comparisons that leave me really angry with God and asking Him just why I have to continually move through this obstacle course to only find another one waiting for me just when I think I am on a path that seems somewhat manageable. This battle that I wage with God is not one that I will win, I know this. The questions that I continue to ask Him, well the one question of “why are you doing this to me” has now been answered. And while I sound so accepting of this right now I can promise you that at any given time I will question Him about this life He has given to me again and again and again. I know that I have friends who are reading this and think that even with the struggles I face with Elizabeth that I have lived a really good life, and they would be right … from the outside.
Do not judge, “You do not know what storm I have asked her to walk through” … God
I love this quote that I found sometime ago. I think the words are perfect for those, including myself who only see the life of others from one side and have no idea what they are battling on the other side. I have been very open about this life with Elizabeth, the heartache and struggles I face everyday with her but there are many other battles that I have stood on the front lines of and fought until I have no fight left. So as “our talk over coffee” continued he moved from the heartache of life and why we have to face this. God knows this plan, this life and why He gives us these hard times that leave us questioning Him and then He promises us, it is written my friends that the glory that awaits us can not even compare to the uneven path we must walk at times. So I begin to make my list of what I want … (did you smile, or even laugh right out loud when you read this last sentence because I did!) I am pretty sure that I don’t get to decide the outcome of this life however I am sure going to try, don’t we all at some point let God know just what we need to be happy?
We finished our coffee, I was leaving with a promise but I needed to trust God. Oh trust how hard this is to do. Even trusting God is a burden I bear. He is going to lead me down many uneven paths to come but will hold my hand for the entire walk, He will not let go even when I do and when I trip and fall He will be there to catch me time after time.