The older I get, the more I realize that wisdom comes with age and yet, I am not wise. I don’t have all the answers.* As a pastor’s wife, that can be hard. People come to you for answers. It’s hard to find yourself at a loss for words and admit~
”I don’t know.”
I don’t know why beautiful, Godly souls have suffered tremendous loss, sometimes over and over again. I don’t know why precious wives with longing hearts plead with God for children year after year, yet remain barren. I don’t know why marriages crumble despite prayers to God for restoration. I don’t know why depression or anxiety can grip you for no apparent reason, and wake you from a sound sleep.
I do know that if you typed any of these things into Google, you would have a myriad of answers, many from a biblical perspective. A sin cursed world is the obvious answer, but there isn’t a human being alive that can explain why heartache hits home for some~yet not for others. That answer is entrusted to God alone. God’s word tells us the comforting promise that everything we go through is for our good, but quite often it doesn’t feel good at all.* I have heard people say~ “just give it to God” or “God is in control, you just have to trust Him”.*
Easier said than done.
So many times I will read these things and all my heart can utter is~”how?” How do you just “give it to God”?
Recently I have woken from a sound sleep in complete panic. That’s another hard thing for me to admit. I honestly have no idea why it is happening. I don’t feel like I’m stressed or anxious, yet it has happened more than once. My heart races and sleep doesn’t come again for hours. And so, I will pray and pray and ask God to take it all~ anything I’m holding on to. My marriage, my children, my ministry. Anything that might be causing this. Any control issues I am not aware of. Over and over~”I give it all to you God.” And yet, sleep eludes me still.
Night after night I felt I was failing. I expected the anxiety to magically disappear when I gave it all to God. I felt like a disappointment to my Redeemer who loves me so much. I questioned whether I was truly surrendering everything to Him. What was I doing wrong?
These uncomfortable moments are but a blip in time compared to the years of anguish and questions some sweet Christians go through. Questions with no answers.
Today He reminded me of a beautiful truth. Out of nowhere a memory came to my mind of the many nights my children would have bad dreams when they were very little. Dreams that would wake them. Dreams that caused tears. Quite often they would either cry out for Mike and I, or come down to our bedroom crying. My mama heart was so incredibly tender toward them that the tears would swell up in my own eyes. They would snuggle in with us in bed, and eventually fall back asleep.
Did I reprimand them or get angry with them if it happened again the next night or if the tears would not cease? No. I never did. My love was so great for them that my heart shared in their pain. Did my presence take away the bad dream? Did my words make it magically disappear? No, but my presence and my words brought them comfort. Knowing I was there next to them is what made the difference.
And I think that’s the answer for us, even as adults.
That unfathomable love I have for my children is nothing compared to the love God has for us.
I don’t know why so many go through so much, but I do know that I can say without a shadow of a doubt that you will NEVER go through it alone.* God is always there. His words of comfort and strength are always available to us.
Does that magically take the heartache many are enduring away? No. But what comfort it brings to a weary soul. We are never alone. I may wake up tonight with a grieving heart over missing my parents and loved ones. I may wake up tonight with a heavy heart for the things my children are going through, I may wake up tonight with a deeply sad heart, or a racing heart for no apparent reason, but I need not fear or be anxious or wonder if God is disappointed that it has happened once again. His grace washes over me like a sweet lullaby and His joy warms my heart like a cozy blanket. I need only snuggle in with Him and realize that He may not take this away, but He will never, ever leave my side as I deal with it.
Whatever heartache, anxiety, unanswered prayer, devastation and loss you are experiencing~ you are not alone. Nightmares will never cease no matter our age, but you are His child and as little children we can cry out to our Father knowing He is closer than our very thoughts. Knowing that He shares in your pain, knowing that the bad dream won’t magically disappear but that we can snuggle into Him and He will hold us through it~*
That knowledge is good. It is glorifying. That knowledge will make all the difference, and that is a comfort to cling to.
*Psalm 131:1, Romans 8:18-23 & 28, Proverbs 3:5-6, Hebrews 13:5, Romans 8:38-39, Psalm 139:1-18,