Sorrow deserves sympathy. But when believers refuse to be comforted, they act like the world. When a Christian is beyond comfort over the loss of creature goods, God’s name is degraded. Surely the professed truths never entered the soul.
If the furnace is hot, let your faith be strong. If the burden is heavy, let your patience endure. Acknowledge that He who lends has the right to reclaim. As you bless the giving, bless the taking.
In the midst of these issues with my mom, I was recalling my last birthday, which was a blessing. I went with them to her physical therapy appointment and learned her BP was 88/55 (alarmingly low!) Her heart rate was over 100, as her heart tried to keep up the blood flow to the brain. This explained so much about her general condition of weakness, lethargy, sleepiness, being cold all the time, and so on.
After the appointment my parents wanted to take me to breakfast to celebrate my special day. We went to the pancake house and I asked the waitress to take a picture of us, because I thought it would be the last birthday I had with her.
The blessing came in the afternoon as I helped her return some clothes. I was sitting at her feet in the changing room at Penny’s. She was too weak to change clothes without help so I was helping her get her feet in the right leg holes and then stand up. I thought to myself how wonderful it was, that on the celebration of the day she selflessly brought me into the world, I was able to serve her in this way. It brought such joy to my heart!
This was like no birthday I have ever had in my life, and I remember thinking, “it is really ‘ok’ I am ok.” I was convinced I was going to lose her, and the entire thing was surreal in retrospect. Soon after she was hospitalized. We learned she was nearer to death than we thought at the time. By God’s grace she lived and has since continued her journey toward the end of her of suffering.
I am headed toward another birthday this fall… Today, in the here and now things are evening out for her again. People say it is worse for the people watching suffering than it can be for those actually doing the suffering! I can see this point.
I wonder what it was like for the Father as His Son hung on that cross. I wonder in those moments in time as He forsook His Son what the Father was thinking as all His wrath was poured out on Jesus…His sinless Son. I wonder if it hurt the Father to see His misery and pain.
Our understanding is only in the human realm. God is amazingly gracious and gentle with me, with us! I worship Him.
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