"Oh, this is harder than we dreamed, but I believe that's what the promise is for." ~Andrew Peterson: Dancing in the Minefields
In the past week, I have been thinking a lot about pain and suffering through hardships. So many of my blogger friends have endured various trials in their lives recently. A sweet friend suffered a miscarriage, one is quitting the world of infertility blogging because of sadness and negativity bringing her down, one had a failed adoption, and others grieved through failed IUIs, IVFs, and/or years of infertility. Life sure can seem like a 'minefield' to us at times.
The first question I have to ask is why? Why does a God who loves us allow us to experience all of these branches of pain and emotions that have such an effect on every aspect of our lives? And why did He choose me (or you) specifically to endure it?
I don't have the answer. I do want to hear what you think about this tough topic. I believe that we can't fully know on earth why He chose this path for us, but I do think we will know someday in Heaven. We will be able to connect the dots and see all the intricacies of the events He molded for us.
Although I can't give a black and white answer, I can turn to my Bible and see what God has to show me about suffering, faith, and restoration.
"Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? Will you be to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails?" ~Jeremiah 15:18Jeremiah asks these rhetorical questions to express his nagging doubts about himself, his mission, and God's faithfulness. It is so very easy to be consumed with negative thoughts relating to our wounds, be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. We develop doubts about ourselves and God's purpose for our lives. We question ourselves and we question God. We may even blame one or the other or both.
"Then I would still have this consolation--my joy in unrelenting pain--that I had not denied the words of the Holy One." ~Job 6:10
Job spoke this about having the joy of knowing he had remained true to God, even through the struggles on earth he was given. It can be difficult to keep faith in God when we experience letdown after letdown. After a while, we bear a burden of a lack of hope in a triumph ever occuring. But, if we can remain true to God, and hold onto our faith that He is in control and has a purpose, we can make it through anything. He never gives us more than we can handle. It's hard for us type A's to give up control, but we must surrender.
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." ~1 Peter 4:12-13
Like the last, this is a tough verse to chew on....rejoicing in our sufferings...what does that look like? Sometimes I pray, "Lord, please let me get pregnant. I want so badly to give you glory over this." A lot of times, I have an "IF this...THEN I will be happy" attitude towards my trials. But, can we put 'ourselves' aside and rejoice in God THROUGH the trials? I think we can. I pray we will.
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." ~Revelation 21:4
Heaven...a picture of no tears and no pain. That is a promise from God. I like to picture Heaven based on the Bible, but also through a book I read, lyrics to "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me, and the song "City On Our Knees" by TobyMac:
Tonight’s the night
For the sinners and the saints
Two worlds collide
In a glorious display
Cuz its all love tonight
When we step across the line
We can sail across the sea
To a city with one king
A city on our knees
A city on our knees
It make me happy thinking about Heaven as a place where we can worship our king and be at peace for eternity. Earth can be a seemingly unbearable place at times, but God gave us His Promise. And we can certainly rejoice in that.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." ~Hebrews 11:1
To be continued.....