Encouragement for the Hurting
"He has made everything beautiful in its time ..." Ecclesiastes 3:11a (NIV)
Sometimes life hurts.
Am I the only one who wants to tuck her tail, give up and stay home forever with a stash of chocolate and great coffee?
Sometimes I want to straight up hide. I hope I'm not alone.
However, yesterday I was reminded that while life does hurt at times, life also has days that feel really good.
Because yesterday, during his swim lesson, my son swam the entire length of the pool. Twice.
He swam from the deep end to the shallow end and back again.
Every mother is proud when her child learns to do something new. But not every mother gets to know the joy of seeing her child do something she thought she might never see.
My son was a shoulder dystocia baby. He got stuck in the birth canal and as a result acquired nerve injury during delivery. That meant for months he had no use of his right arm. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I watched my newborn son throw, wave and extend one arm, while the other arm lay still.
My heart was like a stone. I felt guilty, grieved and heartbroken for my baby who did not have perfectly moving limbs. I cried every day for months.
I cried because I wondered how hard his future life would be with only one fully functional arm.
I wanted to figure out how to avoid the hurt.
I was angry with God for allowing a bad thing to happen.
And I was on a mission to fix it. We spent time and money seeing various out-of-town doctors and trying different therapies — none of which changed the bottom line. He was injured. For life.
But here's what I didn't know then that I want to share with you now: eventually things get better.
Even when the source of our pain may leave a scar or a memory of deep heartache, time brings a healing like no other.
Yesterday, my son swam the length of that pool. Twice — with both arms moving — and then he asked if he could try out for the swim team.
Over time, things have gotten better, thanks to God's power and the gifting He has given many capable medical professionals.
I'm not going to sugarcoat things. My son still has an injury and his arm will never be perfect. My mother's heart will always want to fix that, but I can't.
But you need to know that time has brought healing. With the passing of time, I have learned the depths of pain I experienced are matched equally with the heights of joy. God can make all things beautiful with time.
How is that possible?
God changes us and our perspective.
He allows us to see what He sees. He shows us that when things are not always as perfect, easy or as straightforward as we would like them to be, they still can be beautiful.
This isn't always easy to learn. You or someone you love may have to live with the reality of a mind, body or soul injury. With all your heart, you may always want to fix, change or redo something ... and you can't.
Some things may never be perfect. But with time, God can take the hard and make you happy. He can take the sorrow and make you smile.
He can turn the mountain you are climbing of grief or regret into a place where you can view the beautiful landscaping He has created on your behalf.
Resist the urge to tuck your tail and hide every time you run into the hard, because you will not only be hiding from the bad, you will be exempting yourself from the good that's down the road.
God makes things beautiful in time. Hang in there. Have the courage to allow time to pass between your place of pain and unveiling of joy.
Father God, I wish I could fix everything. I wish I could make it all just the way I want it to be. Truth be told ... I get frustrated when I can't. Help me to wait on You and Your timing. Give me courage to trust You and believe that You are good, despite how things may feel. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 71:16-17, "I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What in your life do you wish you could "fix" on your own? Do you think you are trusting God despite what's "broken"?
Have you ever experienced God making things beautiful with time?