I am sitting at home on a Sunday night, when I should have been out with girlfriends. Once again, I am sick. Food is not cooperating with my body today. It is causing pain, difficulty, and fear. I will spare you the details. I keep wondering if this is the plan for the rest of my life. Because, truth be told, it could be. And I don’t mean that in a pathetic, self-pitying way. I just mean that God never promised our life would be without pain. He never promised a life without suffering. He never promised a life without uncertainty. And so as I sit on my bed here tonight I am hounded by what-if’s and could be’s. I think of my life leading up to this moment, and I think of what it will be like for the moments after. I am reminded of grace and mercy in unexpected places. I think about joy and its ability to rejuvenate and strengthen even the weakest soldiers.
I am weak tonight. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. I feel beaten down. I feel confused. I feel lost. Is this what that little lamb felt before his Shepherd found him? I can only imagine.
So much of me wants to give in to the pain and emotion. So much of me want’s to cry ‘why me’ deep into the night, and feel the consolation that this is hard suffering and that I am to be praised. But the truth is that I am not. The only thing that has gotten me to this point is the aforementioned grace and mercy. And I received those gifts from Him. It doesn’t make sense why He loves me so much. I will never understand His love for me. It seems paradoxical. Why choose to love a person, or anything, that you know will betray you. Why invest so much into something that will never fully understand the depth of your love. Or for that matter, why invest into someone who will never fully understand you and most of the time will choose to get to know every other thing but you. Just thinking about the dimensions and road hazards of God’s love for us shows the enormity of His character. In all honesty, I wish I could be perfect for Him. Not for my own glory or at least not all for my own glory (if I’m going to be honest), but because He deserves perfection. But, I will never be able to give Him what He deserves. And the biggest part of His love is that He knew. He knew what He deserved and that I would never be able to give it to Him. He was fully aware of my humanity long before I was. So He made a way. He sacrificed His son, the only person who could give Him perfection, so that little, unperfect me could be where I am today. And I am so grateful. Because He is the best thing I will ever have or know in this world and after it.
As I write this my fists clench up and tears fall because it is not fair. It is not fair for a God so beautiful to have such sinful and unworthy followers. Because He deserves GLORY. He deserves holiness. He deserves Beauty. He deserves every good thing. But every good thing is a gift from above. We could never give anything good outside of His help. Therefore, we will never measure up to Him. And, in all reality, it should be this way. Because what purpose is there to have a great God if we can be as great as He? And who wants to follow or look up to anything that is in any way on the same playing field as us? And how could anyone put their faith in something that performed just as well or just as poorly as he? As difficult as it is for me to accept, He must be greater, in order to be greater. He must have more than me, in order to deserve more than me.
And so, because I cannot offer perfection to Him, I give Him this sick body. This is my thought for today: when we are in Heaven we will no longer experience pain, suffering, or tears. We will only have those things here, on this side of heaven. I am glad for it, because I am a wimp to pain and suffering. I chicken out easy. But just as Christ endured through pain and suffering for me, as a visible act of His love for me, so I can suffer for Him. I can endure with patience this situation. I can live pain out as an act of love. I can do it because I know this is the only opportunity I will have to do so. This life, is the only chance I have to endure pain for my God. It is a way to show God that He is worth everything. Because He is. He is beautiful, and glorious, and everything good. And He deserves everything I have. So, I will cry out my pain as a song of thanksgiving. May He hear it as a melody of my praise and love for Him. Praise be to the Almighty God.