January 2, 2012
Psalm 56:8 NAS You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?
Matthew 10:2-31 NAS Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
The hardest part to any suffering is the feeling of abandonment. This does not imply that you are abandoned. When Gary got sick, my children and my siblings ran to me as did all my friends. I was surrounded by those who truly cared for me and wanted to minister to me any way they could. My daughters asked me to stay with them at night, my sisters offered to stay with me. I told all four of them no, I wanted to be alone at night. Then at night I would lie awake in bed, crying out to God and feeling so abandoned. Had I stayed with my daughters or had my sisters come I would still have done this. By being alone I was able to express myself freely to God and really tell Him how I felt. God knew, but it was important to me to tell Him. The reason is because it was God who I thought had abandoned me. I could not understand and still struggle with God turning our lives so upside down and inside out.
When I say I still struggle with this I am being honest, and this is how I plan on being for the rest of the time I write on this. I could sugar-coat the difficult walk but that would serve no one. I want to let others who read this know and understand that it is perfectly normal for us to go through some rather rough times and feel abandoned by God, cry out to Him and tell Him so. I want others to find comfort in the same God and let His presence fill them as He has filled mine. This is how David is writing to God and this is what Jesus confirms. God is there when we suffer, when we cry, He collects our tears, He sends us comfort and He showers us with His love. He never does and never will abandon us. He knows this is how we will feel and this is why these verses were preserved.
The hardest part still is going through this all alone. I am surrounded by my family and friends and when I say alone, this is what I mean: I am alone; I am the only one here with Gary 24/7. Others will come and do stuff with him. As I type this Guy and Dan are helping Gary do the chores around the house. My daughters and some friends help me care for Gary during the week so I can get school work done. New parents will understand this concept better. No matter how much help you get it is never enough or there when you need it the most. Gary does well when others are around; he steps backwards when they are gone. Backwards is never easy or good. Another aspect of alone is the nuances of Gary. That is the intimate man who is my husband that no one else but I alone know. That is missing and so when others say, “He is almost back to himself,”—no, he is not. The man he was is slowly coming back but he has not come home just yet. Gary’s brother Guy, who is his identical twin, may have a very rare bond with his brother but it pales in comparison to the bond of husband and wife. One has history, the other intimacy. (Guy spoke with me privately when done and said that Gary was anxious and he was concerned. I tried to explain to Guy that all stimulation affects Gary, and all this I plan on discussing further this year. Hard to explain, more difficult to live through.)
You who are reading this are facing some rather difficult times on your own. Three of my readers that I know of have cancer. Several of you are facing financial problems. A few have relational difficulties. None of us may have the same problem, but all of us are suffering and wondering where God is in the midst of all this. How can we find God in death, cancer, brain injury, financial disaster, divorce and prodigal children? That is the question I pray God will answer this year.
In the meantime, during the times when we are still struggling and lying in bed at night crying out to God, let us take comfort in the verses we read today. God hears us cry and he collects our tears, He has counted the hairs on our head. It is this God who we cry to, and God hears His children when they cry because He chooses to.
How great is our God, let us pray,
Lord God, as this new year begins I do pray that all those who are heavy with burdens and sadness will come to read the devotional and Your words and know that it is You who loves them, sees the troubles they are in and will comfort them. This we know because Your Word, Jesus Christ, told us so and it is in His Name we now pray. Amen.