On the way home from the hospital, a voice pleaded, “Why, God? Why?”
I learned so much the first time, but what was this supposed to teach me? No idea.
“Wait for the Lord.”
That funny phrase from the Old Testament…it never made much sense to me. What exactly are you supposed to wait for? How can you wait for Someone who is always there?
“Be still and know that I am God.”
My soul was writhing in anguish, anything but still. Like a tranquillizer to the heart, the very thought of stillness calmed me. “Don’t give up, don’t freak out,” Someone said to my soul. “Stop thrashing around. You’re already in pain. Just accept it, and Wait for the Lord. See what He is going to do.”
Don’t get me wrong. God didn’t make this happen. He’s just as sad about it as me, and even more, though it’s hard to believe. “Why?” is the cry for meaning in the midst of suffering, but the meaning was most certainly NOT “it’s God’s will.” After all, He gave me the desire to have kids. I couldn’t muster such a sacrificial, illogical yearning on my own.
When Take 1 didn’t take, I experienced God in a new way, clinging to His comfort and presence. He took my broken heart and softened the hard protective shell. I actually felt joy while I was profoundly sorrowful, and emerged with a new sense of victory and solidarity. It’s a joy to know you can have joy despite the circumstances.
Four months later, with Take 2 taken out, temper tantrum and pity party were both attractive options. I’m temperamentally inclined to wallow, but I’m not above a good flail, either. Neither baited me like “Wait for the Lord,” though.
Maybe this was phase two of learning to cling to God, just letting all the resistance slip away as my weight rests on Him. Not knowing what will happen, or what I’ll learn from it, but believing that God is good and can use anything for good. And waiting to see what that will be. Someone had the same idea three thousand years ago:
“I would have despaired if I had not believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord.” –Psalm 27:13, 14
People want to find meaning in suffering because they know this is not how life is supposed to be. Pain feels so wrong because it is wrong. We want to fight it, escape it, numb it—anything but feel it. No one can escape it, and now I’d turned up a few bad cards in the game of life. When you can’t know the meaning, you can flop and flail, or you can wait for the Lord and learn as He teaches.
It’s hard to let your heart take courage. The day before, I never wanted to be pregnant again. Today, I caught hope sneaking in the back door to my heart, and I welcomed it in. Logic nagged not to let hope in—not so soon, not so much. But hope doesn’t make any sense; that’s why it’s hope.
“Be still and know that I am God.” –Psalm 46:10
Be still means stop striving, relax, let go. Such impossible yet soothing words for a control freak like me. “Stop flipping out” is how I’d translate it, “Stop flipping out and let Me do My thing.” God is always doing something if we let Him, something good for us, better than we could ever ask for or imagine. And He blesses us for the purpose of blessing others: “I will be exalted among the nations.” God will turn our suffering into joy, and when we give thanks to Him, other people will see His greatness.
I don’t know exactly how God is going to use this tragedy for good. But I know He is working it out, and He graciously reminded me of this when His Spirit’s voice answered my cry with “Wait for the Lord.” So it’s one day at time for me.
Check out this song: Not as We