I know that brokenness will always be part of this life, this side of heaven.
Things are just not quite right here, are they?
Sometimes that brokenness hits me like bricks, and I feel my stomach knotting.
The other day I just cried and cried thinking about the effects of brokenness that have touched my friends and my family and me.
There is neglect, past abuse, infertility, betrayal, addictions, and death.
It felt so very heavy. And broken. It hurt. and exhausted me.
My mouth opened as if crying out for help, but no words.
The tears wouldn’t stop coming.
A friend of mine once asked me if I thought there was a such thing as intercessory grieving because she had wept for a friend as if it was her own pain.
I think there is such a thing as intercessory grieving.
And right now, I’m remembering this – that Jesus intercessory grieves for me when I feel pain.
That He prays to the Father for me and for us.
It’s mysterious to me. But comforting.
Comforting to remember that He was “a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief.”
That He is not indifferent or immune to our sufferings.
He knows them intimately and well and actually feels them with us. I wholeheartedly believe this.
While I’m grateful for my sheltered, carefree, relatively painless childhood, as I’ve grown up, I’ve learned what the world is really like,…the weight of brokenness that presses down on people,…even God’s children,…with the threat to steal hope and leave despair.
A friend of mine in college had done a word study on the word “burden.”
She told me that the Greek word for “burden” in Galations 6:2 was related to the word “knapsack.”
While the Hebrew word for “burden” in Psalm 55:22 was related to the word “boulder.”
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved. – Ps. 55:22
And I thought about what I’m able to carry (in my “knapsack”) and what I can’t possibly carry (“boulders”). Some things are just too heavy.
Thank God He carries those.
Thinking about all these burdens, I came across this book, written by Joni Earickson Tada. She knows a thing or two about suffering. It just came in the mail, and I’m eager to get started. Here’s part of what I’ve read thus far:
“This book is about God weeping over human heartache, his entering our anguish himself, and the love that drives him to let us suffer. It’s about experiencing the friendship of God along difficult paths we didn’t even know he walked.”
Some of the questions that Joni wrestled with are:
- If God is loving, why is there suffering?
- What’s the difference between permitting something and ordaining it?
- When bad things happen, is God in cahoots with the Devil?
- How can he expect me to be happy this way?
And no trite answers to those questions will do, will they.
Sometimes all I can see is the sadness. But I know my view is limited. That helps.
And when I am still, I marvel thinking back on how the comfort of His presence in my past low times really has somehow, mysteriously, been….enough. And that I can hope that it will continue to be enough. For me. And for those dear to me who put their hope in Him.