With all the devastation, suffering and losses, because of the flooding here in Northern Colorado, I have been deeply troubled in a way that caused me to cry out to God for His mercy upon our lands and people.
I haven't felt the way I felt yesterday in a very long time, but I wasn't surprised by my response to the devastation and destruction of our neighboring communities. I wasn't surprised, because I am much more connected to the pain and sufferings in this world, and I am also much more compassionate and concerned about others, since the loss of our son, Kevin.
So, what did I do yesterday, when I was troubled? First, I tried to take a long nap, because I wanted to shut out and escape from reality for awhile. Normally, sleeping to avoid reality is helpful to me, but not yesterday. My dreams were troubling and I found no comfort or rest. The sorrow (and a measure of fear) I was experiencing had a hold on me, and none of the typical coping skills like napping or cooking and eating comfort foods or zoning out in front the TV helped. My heart, soul and spirit were troubled and I came to a point where I just had to ask God to show me what was troubling me so.
I confessed my perplexities about where He is and why it is part of His plan for our lands and people to be suffering in this way. I was honest with Him (as I always am, because I am His child and He is my Abba), and once I confessed my confusion, perplexity and fear, asking Him to help me understand and accept that this situation is part of His plan, the blessed peace that "surpasses all understanding" came over me like a warm blanket.
Experiencing a sense of hopelessness reminded me of the hundreds of grieving moms that I have met over the past 7 years who have openly and honestly expressed their own hopelessness. And, in their honesty, we, as a Christ-centered community of moms have come to understand that though suffering is a part of life, there is hope. . . . "All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." -Romans 8:28
With all that is going on in our world, in our lives and the lives of our family, friends and neighbors, it is no wonder that we may lose our grip on hope now and then. If we focus on our circumstances only, surely we would all just pull the covers over our head and hide. But, because of the hope that is in Jesus Christ our Lord, our hope is everlasting, and we must "keep on keeping on" with faith and trust in the One who is our HOPE!
We don't have to look very far to see suffering, but I have experienced that we also don't have to look very far to see and experience the love, mercy and grace of our Father God who sees, hears and responds to our cries for help in the midst of our troubles.
"I heard Jesus speak to me as the Man of Sorrow, as one who has suffered, as one who knows what it feels like to be crushed by grief to the point that it is squeezing the life out of you. I realized that my sorrow gave me the opportunity to know Him with a depth I had not experienced before, in a way could not have known Him without going through deep sorrow myself." -Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow, Nancy Guthrie