In an uncertain world, there’s an undeniable hope in God’s love and mercy. An unshakable anchor for your soul.
A frenzy of emotions strangled my spirit. Tears soaked my face. Joining my husband on the screened-in porch, I fell into a chair and conveyed the frustration.
“Mike, I told the Lord to please end the madness. To stop the hard stuff from happening. I can’t handle anything else. I can’t take any more bad news. And if God’s allowing me to go through harsh circumstances for writing material, then I have enough. I’ll gladly write about fluffy things. Fun, happy, and smiley parts of life.”
A pastor, Mike was sensitive to my hurting heart. “Karen, it’s difficult to try to understand why bad things happen. The Lord already knows what you’re thinking and feeling. But He wants you to tell Him. To cry out to Him.”
After I bared the rawness of my soul, the words seemed to hang in the warm summer air as if I could reach up and grab them.
What caused the sense of hopelessness?
First of all, my sister-in-law received a cancer diagnosis the day before. Amy was expected to undergo treatment and be fine. Yet, for me, it became a breaking point.
Also, thinking back, I never completely processed a fair amount of sad events. So, let’s rewind the film. Because for four consecutive years, significant loss plagued my story. Several marketing jobs I held, abruptly ended.
And we lost both my father-in-law and my father within six months. How could this be? No dads?
We will be fatherless during holidays and special events. My children will no longer have grandfathers in their lives. In addition, my six-month-old grandson will never know his great grandfathers.
Then, the church my husband pastors struggled through a tough season. Confusion, chaos, and misconstrued truth brought loss to everyone.
Despair and heartache rode the coattails of tragedy. Only months before, our church suffered a tragic event when a young woman in our congregation died. Just twenty-eight, Jane passed away after a short illness. And she left behind three small children and family members with broken hearts and broken lives.
Our church family grappled to find peace and not lose heart. I once again felt the sting of death. The sting of life’s slap in the face.
Now, I arrived at this defining moment. Had I fully grieved the preceding loss? Since my friend was gone too, could my heart withstand the gaping hole?
Jane’s smile greeted me every Sunday morning. She loved our ladies Bible studies and the homeless ministry. We exchanged texts almost daily, sending mutual notes of encouragement, Scriptures, and prayer requests. I saved every conversation.
Sleepless nights turned into robotic days—stunned family and friends going through the motions as if life were normal…though it would never be.
Deep and long-lasting peace seemed far away.
Sure, I wanted the madness…the loss…the hard parts of life to cease. Yet I discovered a surprising truth about God in the midst of the darkness.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to and end” Lamentations 3:22 ESV.
Never, defined by Google: “at no time in the past or future; on no occasion; not ever; not at all.” Synonyms included: “not at all, certainly not, not for a moment, under no circumstances, on no account, no way, not on your life, not in a million years, when pigs fly, when hell freezes over.”
These terms are used in serious and humorous tones. “I’ll take my boyfriend back when hell freezes over.” “She will forgive me when pigs fly.”
But, in black and white, on the pages of God’s Word it means so much more.
I went back and re-read the passage inserting synonyms for “never.”
The steadfast love of the Lord will cease when pigs fly. The mercies of the Lord will come to an end when hell freezes over.
This will never, never, never, ever happen.
While life continues and I can’t stop bad things from happening. Yet, I hold on to the promise of good things…the best things that will never end. God’s steadfast love. God’s mercy. Have you ever seen a pig fly?
*Amy, my sister-in-law is doing well and has been cancer-free this year. Pray it doesn’t return. Read a previous article about Amy.
*Jane’s family is also doing well. Read the original article about Jane.
*Pig image courtesy of Michael C. Friday.
© 2016 by Karen Friday, All rights reserved
August 11, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Uncategorized