in everything...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

it seems to come in the quiet of those late hours, those feelings that you've failed and you're too broken and all the things that you did that you wish you didn't come back to haunt and you feel broken.



when it seems like what the future holds is too much and the resources you have are too little and how in the world are you going to make it?

he came in late and tired last night, sat down in the couch near me and rested his head on the back of that pillow.

with his eyes close, he said my name,

talk to me, kimberley.

and it comes pouring out, the pain, the fear, the shame and he listens all quiet and sure.

and he knows because he's carried his own pain, regrets, scars...

he's shouldered a lot of my own heavy as well.

he knows.

and we sit there, together, in the silence.

sometimes we need to be still so we can know He is there.

(photo credit: becky frame)

and his own burdens come out, story by story,

of the siblings whose mama walked away 3 years ago, of their daddy in prison and the oldest boy working a full time job plus taking on the responsibility of school and taking care of the younger ones...

of the children with no running water...

of the broken and shattered families who come to dinner each evening...

brokenness is everywhere.


and after we read through the first chapter of ezra together, he says quietly in the lamplight,

maybe everything we've been through, everything that has left a scar, has been placed there beautifully by the Hand of God so that we could be prepared for what He had been preparing for us here...

i can't get it out of my head...

that thought.

each scar, each pain-filled moment, has a purpose, a use.

a friend sat at my table this afternoon while i scooped up cookie dough onto those parchment-lined pans.  she shared from her heart as my cookies failed, again - spread out and didn't hold together.

she made a comment,

maybe my scars don't heal over completely so that He can use that pain...

can our pain be a balm for another hurting heart?

His scars, that He will carry throughout all of eternity, continually point out the life and healing He offers - should i really be surprised that my scars never, really, completely go away either?

the last few days have been filled with the reminder that the secret to joy is found in seeing Him in everything.

most especially in the pain-filled-everything.

it was in the pain-filled words of eli the priest, after the Lord came to the child named samuel and called him by name - when the message from God was anything but good...

but it's there, straight from the mouth of the man who received such horrible news,

He is the Lord; let Him do what is good in His eyes. 
1 samuel 3:18

i can come before Jesus and ask for painful situations to change, i can beg for a different outcome, i can hope for a better tomorrow, but sometimes, sometimes what He asks is for us to embrace what hurts and receive it as straight from His Hands.

He is good.

we can trust that.

and while we may not be able to understand why He allows what He allows, we can be open vessels, willing and waiting for Him to use you and me.

because He takes our broken, what should be thrown away and discarded and amazingly and for reasons i can't even comprehend, He uses it - all of it for His glory.

how can i not praise Him?

if i see God in everything, He will calm and colour everything i see! perhaps
the circumstances causing my sorrows will not be removed and my situation will remain the same,
but if Christ is brought into my grief and gloom as my Lord and Master, He will "surround me with songs of deliverance" (ps 32:7) To see Him and to be sure that His wisdom and power never fail and His love never changes, to know that even His most distressing dealings with me 
are for my deepest spiritual gain, is to be able to say in the midst of bereavement, sorrow, pain and loss, "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord
be praised" (job 1:21).

...nothing but seeing God will completely put an end to all complaining and thoughts of 
~hannah whitall smith