|Henry Fuseli "Silence" c. 1799|
is few of days and full of trouble.
He comes out like a flower and WITHERS;
he FLEES like a shadow and continues not.
And do You open Your eyes on such a one
and bring me into JUDGMENT with You?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
THERE IS NOT ONE.
Since his days are determined,
AND the number of his months is with You,
& YOU have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
look away from him and leave him ALONE,
that he may ENJOY, like a hired hand, his day."
It's unsettling to me how much my prayers and laments are like Job's. I don't feel abandoned by God: I feel tormented by Him. Suffering is easily turned into a vicious lie when we mistakenly see ourselves as the object of it. But Job's suffering wasn't about him at all. It was about the love of God, and so is mine. Intellectually, I get it. And yet I still sob, "Just leave me alone!" because sometimes, I don't care about the greater meanings of things. All I can see is that I am hurting day after day after terrible day, and I've had enough. It's not my fault I'm weak. God made me weak.
Trust, like love, isn't an emotion: it's a decision. Why on earth would God bother Himself with such a useless person as myself? I can't say. What I can say is that God isn't trying to mold me into the person He wants me to be through endless these trials and tribulations. There is not one who can be molded into perfection through trials or a lack of them. We all react just like I do, like Job did: "Leave me alone, God! BACK OFF! I can't take this, and I HATE YOU for thinking that I can!!!" But God can bring a clean thing out of an unclean:
Jesus died to make me the person God wants me to be,
and so I AM that person: albeit sick,weak, helpless,
and powerless to change what is happening to me.
God doesn't allow hurting just for hurting's sake. If God allows you to ache, body or soul or both, He has something wonderful planned for you. Not an entire book of the Bible named after you, no, and probably not a fortune 3x over what you've lost, but perhaps another soul added to His flock with your help, or a minuscule taste of what Jesus endured on the cross and a greater understanding of all that has been done for you, for your salvation. That isn't only worth dying for: it's worth suffering a lifetime for.
So with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, I give yet another resolute nod, and somehow with the strength of God, I find myself saying, "Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done." (Luke 22:42b) TRUST: it's the choice of the New Generation. Get it? Heh.
The suggested verse to repeat if it's a difficult day is Psalm 102:2a. PRC buddies, remember to breathe!
"Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress."