It seems like so many people I love are in a holding pattern, circling the runway to promises fulfilled. As a parent, I underestimated how shattering this would be. When the kids were little, their safety and prayer they would make wise choices consumed me. Now, life is happening where I am helpless. These are setbacks and hurts they have to face themselves.
And I am not handling it well.
Each week we have at least one meal at the table where we not only catch up, but share what’s coming up and what our prayer needs are. The tears fell as the kids admitted their requests are the same. We have been praying and praying on these things. One request is years in the making. To see their frustration and pain, I couldn’t even finish dinner.
When it was my turn to prayer, I sobbed my questions out. Why aren’t things happening? Some of these requests are promises, so why aren’t they fulfilled? Why is there so much hurt? Basically I said You need to show us You’re in this because we are fading fast.
I kept the lament going long past dinner. As my husband tried to encourage me, I admitted sometimes I just need Jesus to be at the foot of the bed and explain Himself. To not have that, it’s really breaking me. I want to understand.
I went to bed with that crying headache and fell into an exhausted sleep. At 3:23 am I woke and instantly knew that number meant something. Before I could even pray, Colossians 3:23 came to mind. I knew that wasn’t me being all smart. A confident grasp of the Bible is not one of my strengths. But I immediately went to it.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…” Colossians 3:23, NLT
I laughed out loud. Earlier I’d been begging for a sign I’m on the right track with writing. When I give my time mentoring others, praying, giving away funds needed for writing to other needs around me. That direction could not have been more clear. I needed to stay obedient and get my focus off the money and business side of writing.
A few hours later I was working through my study guide for Ann Voskamp’s, The Broken Way. I stopped to once again ask, why? Why, if we are His beloved children, would He allow such pain?
Before I could move on, a thought so sudden and so full of wisdom dropped into my spirit I know it is a download from heaven. It has comforted me all day. I want to encourage you, because I know so many of you are asking the same questions I am. Here is what I “heard,”
“There is pain because you are beloved. If there weren’t hard times, you would be spoiled. And spoiled children don’t grow.”
Father, comfort every beloved child asking hard questions be encouraged today. You have eternal purpose for them. Their pain is not a joke to You. Strengthen, encourage and prepare them for ministering to others with similar hurts some day. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done. In Christ’s name. Amen and Amen.