“God is Love” 1 John 4:8
“Gracious is the Lord, and righteous” Psalm 116:5
“God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33
I like these aspects of God. But, what my humanity struggles with are verses like these:
“For he wounds” Job 5:18.
“He has besieged and encompassed me with bitterness and hardship.” Lamentations 3:5.
“All was well with me, but he shattered me; he seized me by the neck and crushed me.” Job 16:12.
All these verses are in the Bible. I’ve read them, but being wounded, shattered, and torn apart (Hosea 6:1) is not something I really understood until the past two years.
If I’m being honest, I have been struggling with these aspects of God. And let’s just be real, it says He. The capitalization in the Bible is a reference for God.
Sometimes it is our own sin that causes wounds. Sometimes it’s the enemy that causes the damage to our soul. But what do you do when it’s God who allows it and God orchestrating it?
I don’t like a world where we are crushed. I don’t like being shattered, broken and torn apart.
You may think I’m out of line. But let me remind you of a verse (which keeps coming to my mom’s memory). Isaiah 53:5, “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities.”
God the Father, allowed His own Son to be crushed. In fact, God sent Jesus to be pierced, beaten, forsaken and subject to a criminal’s death. What do you do with that?
This weekend I was invited to a retreat. I struggled to go. I know there’s a lot I need to wrestle through in my own heart and mind. Things that I haven’t been able to talk about because they are simply too painful. It feels like I’m going to fall apart if I talk about it.
But, like my mom always says, “If you don’t want to go, it probably means you need to go.” So, I went.
While I was there I was given Genesis 22 to read. It is the passage of scripture where Abraham offers Issac to God in the alter and where God provides another sacrifice.
All three times Abraham was called, He said, “Here I am.”
It struck me in a whole new way. Being available to God means being available to breaking. Being available to being shattered. Being available to being torn apart.
Following God has broken me more than I ever thought possible.
But, while I was on my own at this retreat, I felt like God said, “Christi, don’t you think the same heart I broke, I can heal?”
When things are broken, it’s in our nature to fix them, right? We have a falling out with someone and we want to fix it? We have an broken plan and we want to mend it. We want to be the fixers.
But what if God is just asking me to be the patient? To walk through the painful steps to healing? To press through the pain to obtain a greater prize? To be able to look back and see that none of it had anything to do with me.
Because the whole verse in Job 5 says this, “For He wounds, but He also binds up; He injures, but His hands also heal.”
And the ending of Lamentations 3 says this:
“21 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. 22 The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.
This road is not easy. I don’t like being broken, but I have to continue to trust that it is for a greater purpose.
“Weeping lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
Sometimes that night is a few weeks, sometimes it is longer. But, God has our healing and joy will come in the morning.
I don’t know what road you are on. It may be incredibly painful, but this year, I want to be a good patient. I want to be available- even if it hurts.