Holding On to You: Finding God In The Midst Of The Things That Hurt by Rebekah @ Three Bees In A Blue Bonnet
The most beautiful summer day lies right outside my back door. A clear blue sky like an accidental spill of water across the table; cherry trees vibrant with verdant green leaves – so similar to the birds that perch in their branches; the warm sun soaking in to fresh cut grass and smells like happiness and memory.
I see these things around me and they make me smile. For a moment. And then I’m not smiling. I’ll have taken a step. Or stretched something out too far. Or moved too quickly and realized that one of my joints isn’t cooperating. There is pain.
This is a daily challenge and struggle I wrestle with – and imagine that so many others do too. But we don’t talk about it. The things that hurt – whether physical, mental, or emotional. If it lasts longer than the length of a Band-Aid or cast; if mere Tylenol won’t take care of it; if it’s not something that a hug from your best friend or a romp with your pet can’t help you shake off, we hardly know what to do with them. They shade our existence – partially because of the darkness they bring into our lives, and partially because we don’t know how to explain them to our friends and family (never mind strangers). Worse than that, we’re not sure what to say when people wonder how we’re doing and if [insert whatever burden you’re carrying] has gone away yet.
So many of these things that co-exist with beautiful summer days – whether they be the unyielding stretch of chronic physical pain; the quiet halls of depression; the lonely ache of an abandoned heart; the echoes of a loss that still ripple through your life like subtle waves in a pond – are things that we simply do not know how to speak of.
Sometimes, we’re not even sure how to speak of them to our God.
As though God would not know what to do with our shadows and the spaces in between. As though He can only meet us when we are whole and in the light. As though the maker of the universe who created the dark as well as the light could be shorn away from us by the things that sometimes bring us to our knees. And if they do bring us to our knees, what will we do once we get there?
No matter what hurts us, so much of what happens next hinges on our response. On this bright summer day with breezes blowing and nothing pressing in on me, it’s easy enough for me to write that phrase. To speak of turning first to God in search of comfort and peace; seeking His face and surrendering to Him in a breath. But know that as I write; there have been just as many dark nights where I have been overcome – sometimes by physical pain, sometimes by the worry that comes with wondering where the next mortgage payment will come from, there was a time where it was desperate, blinding fear for someone I love dearly whose life was de-railing before my eyes.
And yet, from either position: curled into myself with tear-blinded eyes and breathlessness to the wide open freedom of peaceful reclining in the soft afternoon air the answer will always be the same for me at this point in my life.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.
You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph.
And this – I Am (from David Crowder’s new Neon Steeple)
There’s no space that His love can’t reach
There’s no place that we can’t find peace
There’s no end to Amazing Grace
Take me in with your arms spread wide
Take me in like an orphan child
Never let go, never leave my side.
Holding on to You.
Holding on to You.
In the middle of the storm,
I am Holding on,
These shadows and storms will sometimes coexist in diverging dichotomy with the bright spots in our lives. Whatever space you are standing in – be it shadow or light; whatever the weather of your heart – storm or sunshine; I pray that you will know the healing comfort of the God who hears. The God who will never let us be out of His hand. The God who finds us in the light and in the dark. Whose mercies are new every morning, and whose grace never fails.