Recently a big tragedy struck my life and the lives of many around me. Unfortunately due to legal reasons I cannot disclose the tragedy** (and it’s likely I’ll never be able to to). These things never come when it’s convenient, if there is ever a convenient time to begin with, and so the news came while I was at work. Yesterday I saw a person who I worked with that day, which they reminded me of, but I don’t remember them.
When my wife and I have a conflict I try to resolve immediately. I can’t stand the tension, I can’t stand the division, I immediately apologize for the stupidity I contributed and I try to make it all well again. But when it comes to matters of sadness and grief and pain I like most people try to put it off like paying bills or a fixing something in the garage I really don’t want to do. My schedule had me booked, and so I used that as a way to not actually work through the process of pain. Someone recently used the analysis of holding a beach ball under water – it takes all sorts of effort to keep it under the water so you know it’s there yet you never let it see the light of day. And of course the deeper under the water the higher it’ll fly when it comes up.
Finally after a week I had to face what had happened – there was really no avoiding, as it was thrown in my face in a very literal way. I was likely a bit cranky that day. I was shaking and stuttering, clearly on edge and red in the face.
We deal with a God who isn’t afraid to hear what we’ve got – even if it isn’t exactly flattering. We deal with a God who wants unflinching honesty, but mostly gets little paper sailboats of honesty arriving on the shore of a big ocean. And we deal with a God who is with us in this pain.
I think too many people try to hype up God as someone who takes away the pain. He’s the one who makes the boo-boo all better. But I think less and less of God of doing this. Moreso, I see him as with us in the pain because he can’t call us out of it if he isn’t already in there with us to begin with.
Lately I’ve been very interested in the promises of God, and I think they aren’t as numerous as we’d like them to be or even report them to be. But the promises of God are deeper than the credit we give him. And that’s what counts.
*This is a reference to a recent post. I’m sorry I haven’t responded to comments yet, I haven’t had much emotional energy lately (reference the subject of this post).
**My wife and daughter are fine.