Fears and Tears
My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42:3 ESV)
When I placed my mother in a long-term facility, the last coherent thing she said to me before disappearing into her Alzheimer’s world was, ‘The Lord’s been good to me my whole life. Why is He doing this to me now?’
I was stunned and the question ripped through my heart, lodging itself deep and doing unbelievable damage. A crisis of my own faith ensued as I struggled to find the answer to her question. I attempted to run from God, but at the same time, immersed myself in the Word trying to make sense of a God who would reward a life of obedience with dementia.
The verse in Psalm that questioned, ‘Where is your God’ stuck in my throat. I had been eating tears for food several nights, crying out to God in anger sometimes until the sun rose and I had to go back to work. It was a terrible time of wrestling.
In the end, it was my brother who brought me both the answer to Mom’s question and me back to the cross. The Lord didn’t put dementia on my mother as a punishment, but like any illness, it was a product of the fall. He allowed it to descend on her as a blessing. We did not lose her overnight with an unsuspected heart attack or tragic accident, but had years of slowly letting go and saying goodbye. My brother viewed her illness as a gift from God, where I had been convinced it was a curse.
We do go through seasons where our tears are our only food; painful times where we do wonder where our God is. But He is here. He promised to never leave us nor forsake us and He is true to His Word. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:5b ESV)
Father, we thank You that You are a good God and that You don’t deny Your children, giving us a stone when we ask for bread. Your love and ways are so much higher than we can understand or grasp. Help us to trust in You and to remember that You are near, capturing our tears in a bottle. Amen
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