Our house is ever changing. Walls being knocked down and new ones being built. Frankly it looks a mess. We’ve peeled wallpaper, ripped down ceilings, taken up floorboards and taken the house back to its bare bones. We have a vision for the beautiful home it will be, but right now it’s hard to see that. Part of the house is seemingly finished, but still it is a work in progress. There are always pictures to go up, curtains to hang and finishing touches to add. With 11 people living here we also make a mess and create dust, it all requires constant work.
One day soon this will be a snug. For now it is a walk through room with bare ceilings and concrete.
All this stripping back got me thinking. It’s rather like what God does in our lives. He allows us to go through tough times, times when it feels as if we are so raw, when the pain is so deep it feels like you can barely catch your breath. How can our loving Father allow us to go through that?
I know He isn’t distant from our pain, for His Word explains how He feels it too. I was meandering through Acts recently when I came across fresh ‘manna’ for the day. Saul had famously met with Jesus on the road to Damascus and Jesus called out, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ I wondered why he said that when Saul was killing Christians, not Christ? I realised that when something is causing pain to one of God’s children, they are causing pain to the body of Christ and thus to Him. Upon reading this verse I was taken aback as I contemplated the level of pain that Christ must feel each day as He carries our burdens. Pain is no longer ours to bear alone. Christ really does carry it for us.
How in reality can we give our pain to God? It is a question I have been asking of late. Phil has a gift, he lives in the moment and let’s go of the past, or just forgets it. I don’t find it so easy. I have the memory of an elephant and I never have an empty mind, generally I am like a computer with too many tabs open. The tabs have recently been overwhelming me, as many of them were too painful to open. I asked God to show me how to let go and gradually I’m learning. I am choosing to follow the advice given in Philippians 4:8, ‘Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things’. I realised that much of my time was being spent focusing on the wrong things. I was focusing on my sadness and the grief and in doing so was finding myself anxious and low. If I am to truly to heal, I need to follow God’s advice and be careful what I think of.
I am so much happier this week having spent my days listening to gentle music, reading the Bible to myself and the children, knitting, sewing and writing. In some ways it just feels like the self care the world would administer, but God thought of it first. God knows our human frailties and has an answer for each of them. The answer to leaving our troubles in God’s hands? Turn away from thinking about them constantly and fill our minds with pure and lovely things and watch Him melt away the pain, as He takes it from us.
One day I won’t feel so raw and I will have strength to think about Dad’s death, but for today I need a break and God, in His goodness, has shown me how to find one.
I wasn’t sure what I would write tonight, only that writing was what I must do. I hope that someone somewhere needed to hear these words. If I can help in any way, please feel free to drop me a message.
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Many blessings to you, Vicki