My heart and mind have been ruminating all day about hope, faith, doubt, Jesus, God, despair, pain, disappointments, trust, and truth. I’m a little weary inside tonight.
Already having a mini faith crisis of sorts lately, pondering truth and what I really, truly believe about God, Jesus, eternity and life and…when I try to solve these issues on my own I just find myself walking in circles, getting nowhere and feeling restless.
With all this filling my heart already, today I reached a tipping point. A dear friend who has so much pressure in her life already shared some details with me of the latest tough news and troubling lack of answers and hopeful outcomes. As I listened I felt so inept, incapable of helping her. I was thinking I should say something about Jesus but we were at work at the front desk and it wasn’t the right time. And for some reason I felt it would come across as ineffective or cliché, like offering to put a little Band-aid on a gaping wound, or bailing out a sinking boat with a teaspoon.
Then I felt guilty for feeling that way. Maybe I hesitated, too, because I wasn’t confident at the moment of that hope myself. Why was my heart hesitating?
Maybe because her situation is so dire and painful that I see no way to heal it, don’t know how to fix it, almost believe that it’s unfixable. I feel it’s all too much for one person or family to bear, certainly not fair. The rest of the afternoon I cried out to God inside, knowing I can’t hide anything from Him anyway, “Forgive me, God, but I’m having trouble here. I need you to show me you’re real. I’m ashamed to even say that but you know my thoughts. I need you to help me hang onto the hope I’ve proclaimed all my life that seems so thread-like and fragile right now. Show me something!”
I poured all of this out to John while we made dinner and wept. I told him I wanted to just wrap my arms around her tiny frame, pick her up and make it all better, or at least carry some of it for her. I ache for her to have some relief from the heaviness and stress. I want to hold back the waves that crash over her day after day, but I can’t make that happen.
As I cried and John and I talked, I heard God tell me that is precisely the point. I can’t fix it. I can’t really give her hope or offer her a way out. Only Jesus can do that. That’s the gigantic difference between me, the created clay pot and Him, my Creator, Almighty God. Realizing it I felt ridiculous but then comforted. There is no more comparison between my abilities and God’s than between an ant and a supernova. Knowing God is infinitely greater, stronger, holier, bigger, wiser, and more compassionate than me would mean that He is immensely more concerned for her and her family, even more pained at her sorrow, more compelled to give her love and hope, to help her. And He knows how. He actually can reach down and wrap His arms around her and bring good out of it all somehow. At least I pray He will. He is the God of the impossible and I just lost sight of that for a while.
Forgive me, God, for those times I let fear sweep my faith aside, for giving in to and relying on my limited understanding. Forgive me for trying to fix it or think of a way to do that. Help me, please help me, to just stay close to you so I will know when you give me opportunities to share your love and hope with my friend. I want it to be from you so it will actually help. I want it to be real. Grow my faith, please. Show me more of who You are.
I need You and I do believe in You.