When Life Gives You Raspberries

Splintered. That is how my heart felt throughout much of the late spring/early summer days. Thrown to the ground, shards scattered, reflections distorted like a funhouse mirror. I tried to hold it all together and attempted to somehow mend the broken bits but was failing. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

Overwhelmed by life, I couldn’t even compose a proper prayer to my Saviour. Thankfully, He knows me better than I know myself. After all, none of the chaotic events that sent me around the bend took Him by surprise. The broken promise of one in authority. Jobs in upheaval. A daughter’s ugly divorce and sudden move. The loss of relationship with a son. My best friend’s brush with death. The traumatic yet miraculous birth of our grandson. Whispered lies bandied about among family and friends. The death of an older friend very dear to me. All of it threw me for a loop. But God? Nothing can shake Him. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)

A sidenote: I am not a fan of summer’s extreme heat. When temperatures hit the 90’s and 100’s, a happy camper I am not. However, I AM a fan of the flowers, fruits, berries, and birds of summer. I spend at least an hour each glorious morning out in the garden: feeding (and cleaning up after) the birds, chickens, dogs, and barn kitty; watering pots overflowing with blossoms, herbs, tomatoes, pumpkins, and cucumbers; and picking raspberries. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

On one of these mornings, while plucking the ripe fruit from the thornless (yay!) raspberry stalks, God gently spoke to me. I’d been agonizing over two of our children, my unshed tears bottled up and shards of shattered heart piercing my soul. The familiar story of the prodigal son came to mind. But from a slightly different perspective. God’s perspective. And he said, ‘There was a man who had two sons.’ (Luke 15:11)

Earlier that week, a friend and I were chatting about what we’ve been learning in our daily Bible studies. It had occured to her that it must really hurt God when we only come to Him asking for things. ‘And the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.” And he divided his property between them.’ (Luke 15:12) 

How we must hurt God when we make requests of Him and yet do not appreciate, thank, or pursue relationship with Him. As a parent, I can relate to this when I only hear from a kiddo if he or she needs something. Oh, how I long to connect and spend time with them! And then they sometimes wander away… ‘Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.’ (Luke 15:13)

Yet, even when my heart hurts for that child, I love them with all my being and desperately want the best for them–and fear the worst. ‘And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed his pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.’ (Luke 15:14-16)

And then, it hit me. God loves my kiddos much more than I could ever possibly hope to love them. He hurts for them, aches for them, cries for them–like I do. He hears the whispered lies that the enemy utters against Him–like I do. And yet, He continues to care for and love them–like I do. My soul was reminded once again: if those who stray truly belong to Him, they will return. Someday. ‘But when he came to himself, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.’ ” ‘ (Luke 15:17-19)

And so I wait. And I pray. And I thank God that HE waits and prays. For me to come to my senses when I have strayed, and for my kiddos. He is a compassionate, long-suffering, slow-to-anger, forgiving, and loving Father who longs to meet us where we are, take us into His arms, and welcome us home. ‘And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.’ (Luke 15:20)

If you haven’t yet believed on Jesus as your Saviour, by God’s grace–unearned, undeserved mercy and love and forgiveness and kindness–through faith, please do so today. Run to Him. He will welcome you with open arms and celebration. Without condemnation. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

‘And he said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.” ‘ (Luke 15:31-32)

This entry was posted in Children, Death, Depression, Faith, Family, Fear, Fellowship, Forgiveness, Friends, Genesis, God, God's Heart, Grace, Healing, Heart, Hope, July 2017, Lies, Life, Love, Luke, Mercy, Mourning, Prayer, Prodigal Son, Psalms, Repentance, Romans, Salvation, The Father, Worry. Bookmark the permalink.

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