My eyes are dry
My faith is old
My heart is hard
My prayers are cold.
And I know how
I ought to be
Alive to You
And dead to me.
With the audacity of Job, I draw a line in the sand and say, “Here, and no further.” Stop. hurting. me.
I have wept hot tears of sorrow on my pillow. With David, I can say “I drench my couch with my weeping” (Psalm 6:6). I have longed to be held and protected and comforted by my heavenly Father, my Abba.
But the reality is that though my mouth forms the cries of “Abba, Father”, the sound that I produce seems formulaic to me. In these desert seasons, the lyrics from Keith Green’s “My Eyes Are Dry” more accurately portray my condition, when the waves buffet my soul and trials mount up against me.
Joni Eareckson Tada recently stated in a podcast that “when your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, an orderly list of the 16 good biblical reasons as to why all this is happening is not what you need. That’s because answers in and of themselves just don’t cut it when you are hurting in the gut and the heart. . . . When a person is suffering, that person is like a hurting child who looks up into the face of his daddy and cries and asks, ‘Why, why?’ . . . We want God to be Daddy; to assure us that everything will be okay . . . so God, just like a good daddy, isn’t quick to give us advice or answers or reasons why He’s allowed thus and such a thing to happen; but He is quick to give us Himself.”
Oh, how tender a picture that is, and how true! Yet I am a stubborn child; my voice is tinged with resentment and my attitude murmurs, “I would have done this differently." If only “Why?” were the only inquiry on my lips. I question the character and wisdom of God, like Job did. Don Baker writes, “Job didn’t need to know why these things happened as they did -- he just needed to know Who was responsible and Who was in control. He just needed to know God.” (Pain's Hidden Purpose, cited in Jerry Bridges's Trusting God)
Right about now is when I need that orderly list to pound out the petulance and overwhelm me with the reality of Who God is, in all His majesty and character. He is responsible for my situation, and He is in control of my life.
“Uncle!” I give, I give. Lord, I give. I accept my Father’s will. I accept His wisdom and goodness. I need to have my arm twisted behind my back. I need to acknowledge that I'm a foolish child. I need to submit. With all due respect to Joni, I need the 16 reasons and 2 more for good measure. I need to be reminded of the truths of Scripture, the character of God, the means He has used in the lives of others, His wisdom, His love. That the very presence of adversity is the evidence that God is dealing directly with my heart. There seems to be a connection between the deafness of my spiritual ears and the pain and discomfort I feel in life. Pain and discomfort -- I get it, how it's a conduit through which the Lord will work patience and longsuffering and faith.
"The issue God is dealing with in our lives is not so much related to what we do, but what we are. All of us tend to understimate the remaining sinfulness in our hearts. We fail to see the extent of pride, fleshly self-confidence, selfish ambitions, stubbornness, self-justification, lack of love, and distrust of God that He does see. But adversity brings these sinful dispositions to the surface just at the refiner's fire brings impuritites to the surface of the molten gold," writes Bridges.
The line in the sand is swept away, and I run to You, Father. Hide me in the cleft of the rock as your glory passes before me, "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
"Though He cause grief, He will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love." (Lamentations 3:32)
Laura Miller aka mrsdkmiller
Looking for a list of articles published around the web?
Looking for posts written in response to 5-Minute Friday prompts? Click here:
Her March Isn't Over
Across the River
When God Pries My Fingers Off My Children
Life's Defining Moments
To the Christian Wife Who Berated Her Husband in Front of My Daughter
Zeal and Grace in France
An Unconventional Love Story
Seeing What's in Front of Our Eyes
Remembering Why I Called You Hannah
Love Your Sister.
Because He Came Home
Go Valiantly! A Prayer for New Homeschooling Moms
© lauraenglandmiller, #thereyougothinkingagain, Laura E Miller
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