To be made weak, is to touch, see and know the power of God Almighty.
When I woke this morning I noticed an orange and pink hue illuminating our front room. Our home faces north east and though trees block a full view of the sunrise in the morning, we get just enough of a glimpse to spark awe and wonder. The sunrise this morning was stunning. It was a beautiful reminder of Creator God and his intricate role and design. One glance at social media confirmed that many others had seen the same beauty and shared their photos of the sunrise. Bible verses accompanied, praise to the Creator and whispers that the sunrise felt as if it was just for them.
It’s easy to proclaim the glory of God when it seems beautiful to us or suits us, but as I looked out my window this morning I saw something more than a beautiful sky. I saw bare trees and a drive way lined with dead grass. The cold air is almost visible and the light is eerily similar. It’s February now, and I recognize the scenery. 49 weeks ago, I looked out the same front door and saw lights flashing and first responders lining the road. I watched and waited for my husband’s truck to frantically pull down the driveway. I can hear the whisper of my own voice, “God, please no. Please save her.”
Clinically speaking, it’s trauma. We’ve lived through an incredibly traumatic experience and certain sights, smells and sounds trigger us into a tailspin. The month of February is a heavy month, and it will be indefinitely.
Suffering changes you. We look at the world through a different set of lenses. We see beauty and heartache differently.
I know that I can come across cynical and even mean spirited. That isn’t my intention. I still see the beauty of the sunrise. I still hear the joy and laughter that echos through our home. But suffering changes you. We look at the world through a different set of lenses. We see beauty and heartache differently. I’m currently reading and studying 2 Corinthians with a group of precious women. This week we worked our way through chapter 11 when someone said, “In the thirty years since I have attended church, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone talk/preach about suffering.”
It’s a terrible shame and waste, but it’s probably true. Suffering is uncomfortable and we don’t want to talk about it. I realize now, that the loss of a child seems almost contagious. If you are willing to sit with someone in their grief, bear the burden of suffering and turn an ear to their story, you will be faced with the reality that you too are susceptible to suffering. It opens the door to the realities of loss and you are forced to remove rose colored glasses. Granted, you won’t likely face the same suffering or the same grief, but the possibility of suffering becomes real.
I have been there. I had held hands, heard stories and thought how horrible it must be to lose someone. I had felt it was easier to distance myself from others sufferings. I read the stories and moved on quickly. In the name of not wanting to be pessimistic or cause unnecessary anxiety, I turned a deaf ear and focused on the beautiful sunrises.
However, there is beauty in suffering. The Lord can receive great glory and honor in the midst of hardship and pain. In the last year we have been stripped bare. We have been made incredibly weak. We are faced with constant reminders that we control nothing and that anything that can be taken away is a secondary blessing. In the last year we have held fast to Jesus and His word, because it is enough and the only thing that can’t be taken away. If we never had another beautiful sunrise, would Jesus be enough? If I were to lose my surviving children and my husband, would Jesus be enough? The answer is yes.
In the last year we have held fast to Jesus and His word, because it is enough and the only thing that can’t be taken away.
I appreciated the sunrise this morning. I also felt the pain of loss. It’s complicated and it’s messy. I am more confident in Jesus and his power. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:30, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” To be made weak, is to touch, see and know the power of God Almighty. God is creator and God is powerful, may his glory be displayed whether in a beautiful sunrise or in weak mother crumpled over her daughter’s casket.