Saturday, September 10, 2011

Have You Met My God?

He wakens me morning by morning,wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.

The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears,and I have not been rebellious;
I have not drawn back.

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.

Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.

The Lord said, "I, even I, am He who comforts you.

Who are you . . . that you forget the Lord your Maker,who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth,that you live in constant terror every day?"

Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

But my salvation will last forever,
my righteousness will never fail.

From Isaiah 50-51


If I could somehow take you down with me into the pit of the despair of grief, I don't know that I would even do it. It's a scary place down there. A place with no hope, and only a furious clawing and trying to grasp anything . . . anything to hold on to. It's dark, and lonely, and painful. It makes you want to turn in on yourself and give up. I know first hand: I have been there most of the week. I don't want to go back.

I have realized that my god is too small. The god that I was creating to replace the Sovereign God, anyway. I could only see days of forever without Trent, and I could only feel the pain, and I couldn't comprehend a god who would ever be anything other than far away in his heaven as I missed my son, and went on in this life without him. That ache weighs you down. If you have never lost anybody there is no explanation for what this feels like. If you have ever lost somebody you can begin to comprehend it. If you have never lost a child, you cannot even come close to trying to imagine it.

I give in to this pain too easily. I give in to the hopelessness too easy. I get tired, I get busy, I get consumed elsewhere, and it hits me. The only way out that I know of is prayer and Scripture. I even called in the troops this week and called in some mighty prayer warriors. Then I set everything else aside other than an intentional drawing closer to Jesus. Feeling Him hold me, love me, comfort me, carry me. Fully trusting Him, letting Him lead, remembering that He is leading, and then I turned and faced that pain. Running is no good, it's still there. I look for the core of it, what is it really that I fear?

I fear that God might have made a mistake. I fear that God might not be enough. I fear that one day this will be twenty years later. I fear that I will forget my son. I fear that mother's won't still be mother's in heaven. I fear that this depends on me and that somehow I am responsible to carry it all, knowing that I can't. I fear that one day the pain will be too much and God won't be enough.

And then I wonder how I ever forgot the promises. I wonder what it was that led me to look to the here and now as the eternal. I have let my guard down in this battle. I have forgotten that there is a battle. I have forgotten what the battle is about. It is about souls. It is about eternity. It is about God's glory. Somehow those things get muddled in the midst of pain.

I try to comprehend eternity. I think of the eternities that have been changed because of Trent's death; I think of Trent's own eternity that was changed simply because of Jesus' salvation while we sat at the dining room table less than a year before the accident.

We are scared of death in our culture, but ignoring it doesn't pretend it away. Every one of us will die. Our children will die, our neighbors will die, our parents will die. And we only wonder what's on sale at Walmart or should I have that second piece of desert?

If we knew the consequences, good and bad, would we live differently? If we really believed that we would face God and give an account one day would we choose differently? If we really believed that He would punish every sin for an eternity, and that Jesus really was the only way to heaven, would we repent quicker? If we really believed that God would simply be faithful to every promise in Scripture, would we live and trust more faithfully? If we believed that He really does hear and answer our prayers, would we pray harder? Pray more?

My god is too small, but my God of the Bible says that this will all be made right someday, He says that He knows what He's doing, He says that I can trust Him, He says that He is leading me by the hand, He says that He is sovereign, He says that it is better to be with Him rather than here, even for my son.

Grief is lonely. The best intending Christians don't even get it. There are few who are called to walk in the trenches with you as you grieve. Know, dear ones, how precious you are to me who have crawled in and not let go of me down here. I long to see your rewards when Jesus does come for carrying me, for feeling my pain, for being faithful in prayer, for encouraging me, for crying over my son as if he was your son. Jesus has your names written down, and you are all written on my heart, as well, as precious friends.

I am living your worst nightmare, dear mothers. And I am here to proclaim the goodness of God in it. But don't be scared of me. Don't leave me here alone. Ask me how I am. Let me cry on your shoulder. Praise God with me, give Him the glory with me, seek Him with me. Let "me" be that mother in your life that needs you to hear her cry. Let "me", be you. Come into the trenches, be willing to walk with Him, don't be scared of the high things He will call you to. I have a feeling He wasn't kidding when He said that He was coming back soon. I have a feeling that we won't regret trusting Him in any of this.

My son is in heaven. My God is right in all that He does. Rejoice with me!