Monday, February 4, 2013


"Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love 
that does not show itself in protection from suffering.  
The love of God is of a different nature all together.  
It does not hate tragedy.  It never denies reality.  
It stands in the very teeth of suffering."
-Elisabeth Elliot

I am a quick fix person.  I have puttied holes in the wall with toothpaste, colored in wood scratches with brown marker, and even hemmed and entire skirt with tape. Tape that fell off in long strips throughout the day as I taught art.  And yes, I throw out entire puzzles if one piece goes missing.  Things should be whole, or at least fixed.  An attempt made to be aesthetically pleasing.  I get frustrated that things have been made so breakable, so easy to lose in the first place.

So, maybe I shouldn't be so surprised when it feels unbearable to see my friends or family suffer.  Why it is I am tempted to slap band aids and OKs on confessed pain.  Why my own past sufferings have produced a frenzied busy instead of seasons of receiving.  I am in a place of seeing friends suffer.  I am often left not knowing what to say or what to do.  Their combined pain making my humbling week seem small in scope.

It is hard to not be able to fix.  To not have the ability to help a friend make sense of why  God seems silent and the heart feels tricked.  Why would a good father not protect, not provide?  Why would a friend abandon and hope of a child not get realized?  Sickness and slow healing.  I know my eyes are weak.  I can't see what He sees.  I only see in part and I am afraid of what everyone's whole will be if it keeps going this way.  But He does know of the redemption to come and that the tragedy and the heart break that will 
lead to our faith affirmed.

Luke is done with The Hobbit.  I asked him how it compared to the Chronicles of Narnia.  He said, "No offense to C.S. Lewis, Tolkien writes a better story.  The risk and danger in it all.  He (Bilbo) almost dies.  Two of my favorite characters do die!"  Then why should I finish it, I ask, that sounds horrible.  "Mom, that is how it is suppose to be.  Biblo becomes who he is suppose to be in the end."  He becomes more of who he is created to be, because of it all?  I prod him to tell me more.  Luke tires of talking about it, "just read the rest of it, then you won't have to ask me questions."  

I think about my friends.  Their risk and danger.  More real and scary than my story right now.  I want them to be more of who they are suppose to be,  their true self made in His image.  I want to be that too.  That story includes the tragedy and the reality that we are not there yet.  And the here can feel down right painful.  But He has not brought them this far to abandon them.  He has not turned from their cries silent.  He is a Father who loves far more than we can imagine.  Who doesn't see in part, but sees the whole beautiful story.  He pulls off the band aids and takes the OKs off our lips.  And lets us walk through the suffering with the knowledge that we are not alone.  We are protected and provided for, and WE ARE LOVED in this moment, in this very part of our life.

I pray that we are able to rest in His love this week. That 
 we will be able to trust a good God who has not abandoned us. 
That we rest in a love that protects and provides and is not silent even in the suffering.

"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 
perseverance, character; 
and character, hope.  
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love 
into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
Romans 5:3-5


  1. This brought tears to my eyes.
    Suffering has seemingly been a constant in my life (throughout my adult years)... but it's always been mixed with the tangible peace and kindness of God. At times I have doubted God's goodness toward me, wondering why He hasn't allowed such tragic things to happen to other people.. why just me? When is my big break going to happen?
    And there is silence... but still, there is peace. All that I know is that He is teaching me to trust Him... no matter what my circumstances look like... no matter how I feel.
    And at the end of the day, I know that I can. I know that He is moving me forward. I know that His eyes see, His ears hear. He is here.
    He reminds me that my pain has not been wasted... (even though at times it feels as though it has) and that it will continue to produce fruit in me.
    He tells me that my pain is "momentary" and "light" "affliction."
    And that an eternal, weighty glory is my inheritance.

    So, I let go of it ALL.... and I choose to believe.

    Blessings to you guys,

  2. Rachel thank you for sharing your beautiful heart. A hope that does not disappoint. A beautiful gift from incredibly painful losses. You are right, nothing is wasted , nothing. And everything taken and simingly withheld will Be restored and given beyond our wildest dreams! excited to see what will grow out of your heart through all of these things...