“Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me.” ~ Lamentations 3:19-20
Oh LORD, how could this happen? Why would you allow him to get so close and then yank his dreams away? And with false accusations. Really?? Flashback to six years ago, and the pain and devastation wrought upon our entire family by falsehoods and “friendly fire”…
These thoughts tormented me on my drive to work and back. For days. Tears fell freely. Sobs wracked my heart. The pain only a mama’s heart can understand.
But God does not abandon us, even when it feels like He has. I cling regularly to His promise in Hebrews 13:5 ~ “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ ”
One morning, as I made my way past bus stops and fellow travelers on my morning commute, God softly spoke to my soul.
Look at that young man on the corner. Do you see how lost and despondent he looks? Your son is not the only one hurting in this world, daughter. Look around you. See with My eyes and feel with My heart.
I gazed at the line of cars streaming down the hill to the four way stop. And my heart hurt as I realized that each car held people who are dear to God. People who need a Saviour, who need to know that there is hope. Break my heart for what breaks Yours…
I’m not the only mama who has had to watch a child bear unspeakable injustices and pain. But I’m thinking that most mamas’ hearts react the same. Jesus’ mama Mary was even forewarned. Can you imagine knowing what was in store for your precious child ahead of time?
“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart…And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed – and a sword will pierce even your own soul – to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.’…and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.” ~ Luke 2:19, 33-35, 51b
“A sword will pierce even your own soul.” I tasted a bit of this these last weeks. But I cannot imagine how excruciating it was for Mary to watch as her beloved first born Son was tortured, abused, ridiculed, and hung upon a cross to die. All because of false accusations and corruption.
“But there were standing by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister…” ~ John 19:25b
Mary couldn’t see the big picture of God’s perfect plan for her Son. She had been told, yes, but really, it must have been too much to bear, too much to understand. How? Why?
Aren’t we glad that God has a big picture and a perfect plan for each one of us?
First and foremost, of course, His perfect plan is for our salvation, by God’s grace – undeserved, unearned, mercy and love and forgiveness and kindness – through faith in Jesus alone.
“All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” ~ Isaiah 53:6
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” ~ Ephesians 2:8-9
But also important, God has a plan for each and every one of our lives. A big picture that we cannot see, nor often understand, but by faith we can trust Him with our future.
” ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD.” ~ Isaiah 55:8
” ‘In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.’ ” ~ John 16:33b
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” ~ Philippians 1:6
So I cling. And I pray. And I wait. And I pray. And I trust God for His big picture and perfect plan.
And I remember the words of the “weeping prophet” Jeremiah, in his book of lament – the more well-known words that immediately follow the verses I opened this blog with…
“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’ The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the LORD.” ~ Lamentations 3:21-26
Note: The passages of Scripture are taken from the New American Standard Version. I was on a retreat and had my trusty travel Bible with me at the time I first began writing this. 🙂