No matter how many times I recover there’s always these moments in the hard days when I have to do a whole lot of talking to myself and recount the ways God has brought me back to life before.
Because its way too easy for us to feel swallowed up in our struggles and get lost in our hurt.
And if we’re being real its easy to crawl into bed at night wondering how we will ever be able to survive another day like today and yet discover the beauty of how the morning has a way of washing it all away.
Friends, this is the rhythm that’s been happening all too often for me.
In fact it was the story I told myself just last night and Joe can speak to its truth.
The poor guy is fighting his own kind of battle and then he has to hear me spill my aching heart out…
but we’ve always done it this way.
No matter what kind of battle we’re buried in we’ve learned we’re better when we fight it together.
It can be really hard to walk through the pain of suffering.
It’s much easier to look for a way around it, another path to walk or to even find a detour so we can avoid it all together.
We love to pop cheap pain-relievers and find antidotes for suffering.
Because as humans we’re more comfortable with a cure than with healing.
No joke this just happened…as I sat here tonight at a cafe trying to find a moment to myself and type this thing out a minister who I’ve spoken to a couple of times walked over and asked what the Drs were saying about Joe’s curability.
And honestly I get it-
I’ve been there so many times.
I too want to know how this thing is going to really play out…not just in the days to come but in the months and years as well.
I used to pray for God to take away all of our suffering, all the hard and ugly days that never seemed to fully leave.
I used to beg for him to bring us peace from seasons like this so we could move onto the ‘better days’ of life.
I really truly believed that we somehow got lost in the hard while others were living their own version of the ‘good life’.
I used to pray for God to cease these kinds of interruptions and tests until I realized these ‘interruptions’ were the work he’s been doing inside of us.
These unexpected seasons have been the shaping and molding within our hearts…
where wounds call for deeper understanding, where worries search for deeper worship and where burdens find their deeper joy.
But I’ve been finding its within our deep suffering we are given deep places to minister from.
You see friend, every one of us has a beautiful, yet often unawakened gift to care, to sit inside another’s pain and the ability to listen to another’s wounded heart.
Because as humans I believe we’ve been gifted to feed the masses and even feed a stranger with our compassion.
Those who can sit with others in silence often not knowing what to say but knowing their presence is enough have the power to revive crippled hearts.
But why do we keep these gifts hidden embarrassed this is the gift we have to give?
Why is it that we will hand over a package of crackers before we’ll look into the eyes of a broken soul?
Why are words of comfort so hard for us to speak?
Why are we so quick to overlook one another for something greater and more pressing?
Perhaps, its because you’re a lot like me and we’re so full of our own stuff we struggle to clear enough room in our hearts to let another’s soul in.
You see, for us to truly receive another’s soul we must first choose to empty ourselves.
And friend, this is hard.
I’ve been trying to work on this myself lately.
Because the truth is sometimes its easier to draw a circle around us and forget the hard that’s surrounding us.
But this season of suffering didn’t come to us for us to separate ourselves like this…we’ve been entrusted to be a blessing.
And this is the hardest lesson of all.
That we might not wait for this season to pass us by for God to be seen but that even WITHIN the hardest of days we would allow God’s strength, his power and his Holy Spirit to be experienced all around us.
And some days I honestly don’t get this thing right, because the human side of me wins.
But I’m learning every day that a piece of this is gracing myself with the same amount of compassion I’m sharing with others and it’s doing something beautiful inside of me.
It’s ministering within the walls of my soul as it bleeds over to those closest to me as well.
And sometimes its funny but God does the amazing work of allowing my shortfalls to become the sweetest place his miracles are seen.
Because forgiveness isn’t felt unless its needed.
So friend, if you’ve been wondering if you’ve been doing this well I encourage you instead of measuring it by the things you’re getting right try counting the ways God’s being seen through your brokenness.
And perhaps through our mutual sharing of vulnerability God will be seen the most vividly through our weaknesses..
This sweet friend is really where our worship over worry has been the most real for us.
Because its when our hearts have been feeling all too heavy and our hearts have felt overwhelmed with questions that we push play and fix our hearts and minds on Him.
It’s where we feel the most alive
-where God is reviving our hearts and breathing life into our lungs.
It’s where we climb into heaven’s presence and let them do the fighting for us and we surrender all control to God.
We do this not as ones who have arrived but as ones who are seeing glimpses of what is to come, ones who are finding the source of where our joy comes from and ones who know we can’t make it without the ONE we find here in our presence every.single.time.