I have found great freedom lately in coming to the awareness that I do not have to understand God to know Him. In fact, knowing Him helps bring understanding, but understanding is not essential to knowing and living in relationship with Him. If I had waited to understand my husband,Stan, before I married him, I would still be unmarried. Of course, understanding helps with knowledge but it is not a necessity to entering into relationship, or, may I add, staying in relationship.
Jesus didn’t explain His love He demonstrated it. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)”Certainly this is true with the mystery of suffering. Rather than giving us a book of answers to the question of why we suffer, He shows us by suffering Himself for my sake!
Last week while taking communion at church I was in a lot of physical pain as I heard the words,”this is my body, broken for you.” Tears filled my eyes as I was ever so aware in that moment of my own broken body and brokenness. I realized anew how amazing the Good News really is that He suffered for us, in part so that He could suffer with us. He did this so that though we may never understand all the reasons for our sufferings, we would never have to walk through our sufferings alone! Our God knows what it is to suffer and to be broken. He identifies in all things with us. This is a comfort to me, as I live with my broken body and as I try to wrap my mind around His brokenness for me!
Recently, on a day when Stan and I were feeling the losses more than the comforts in this “recovery” (the word makes me feel like laughing now), we both got in touch with some of the losses we have experienced and commenting about changes in who we are now. Stan admitted to missing the wife he has known for 39 years and I admitted to missing her as well. Painful yet freeing to acknowledge. Then I saw a picture of us taken just a couple of years ago and irritation, even anger, rose up inside me. We are not those people anymore! That youngish, vibrant couple is gone. Suffering and care giving have aged us both but it has also changed who we are. The realization that we are not going back to the people we once were (recovery), but becoming something new, (re-discovery) tempered and hopefully refined by suffering. The thought was both sobering and freeing.
I recently heard the story of country singer, Joey Feek, a young wife and mother who recently passed away from cancer. I was told that she testified that her life was different when, after the return of cancer, she saw a sign that said, “This is your life.” From this point on, she was free to live what was left of it. This is your life. You have NOW. Live it as long as you can. It was like a fresh calling to me, too, to LIVE THIS life, the one I have now, embracing the brokenness. Because the brokenness is the only path to wholeness, not to recovery, but to becoming a new creation.”Behold He makes all things new (Rev. 21:5)” So I am learning to live the life He’s given me, broken pieces and all.
“He makes everything beautiful in His time”…even me. (Ecc. 3:11)