Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Enduring the night

As I kneel at the side of my mom's bed tonight I find myself wondering why one has to suffer so. I sit here with tears streaming down as she is talking. She doesn't know I am here as she is hallucinating. She is having a conversation with my dad. My dad has been gone now for twenty-four years. She is reaching up and grabbing for a fish that he has caught. Talking about fishing. Something my dad loved to do.
As I listen I can't help but be taken back to a different place and time. A time when I was a kid and all seemed right. I would have never imagined then to be here where we are now. But as I watch her I am torn as to what to do. It breaks your heart to see your parent like this and not know what to do.

Sleep finally takes her deep in the night, but only for a while. She is up again and cannot find sleep to comfort her.I find myself laying on the couch just listening. Will she call for me? Will she try to get up alone? Will I hear her if I fall asleep? As I listen at the sounds of the night I just can't stop wondering why. Why has this happened? When will it end? She has to get better, right? I am having a very difficult time with the reasoning of why. Nothing seems to make sense anymore. Why does she have to suffer so?

Then in my focus comes a picture of Jesus. He is suffering. He is on the cross. Suffering that didn't make any sense. Suffering for reasons other than His own. Suffering He did not ask for, but willingly accepted for what? For you and I.

Now the picture is made more clear as I ponder on Jesus and His love. Our Savior suffered and died not for Himself, but for us, that we might have life. He didn't let the cup pass from Him, although He could have. His love is greater than the suffering He endured. Through His suffering He covers us with grace.

Why is there suffering? Why is there enduring through the night? Sin entered this world through one man and touched us all. We are all sinners fallen short. We are sinners in need of grace. Through Christ's suffering we will have life everlasting.

Our suffering seems to last forever and a day doesn't it? When we are really hurting it seems it just goes and goes without any breaks. Suffering seems to take much away from us, but it also adds much to our lives. I have to stay focused through this trial and know that our suffering compared to an eternity in heaven is but a blink of any eye. We think our suffering lasts throughout the night, but there will come a day where suffering is no more. Doesn't that just make us long for heaven more? To be heaven bound is to set our eyes on Christ and not the circumstances that surround us.

I dream of the day where pain no longer attacks my mom. I dream of heaven where pain will not touch another. Can you imagine no tears? No more trials to zap us of everything? It took God six days to create the world. Six days He did all this. He is still working on heaven today for us. He is still creating our home. It will be spectacular! It will be a place we are not even able to imagine it's beauty. Heaven will be that perfect place.

I know there is a plan and a purpose for everything. Part of me understands that, but the other? Well, it has some catching up to do. I am not there yet. And I may never be. I don't have to understand everything. I just have to have faith in the God above who does.

II know each day He is doing a work in me. He is molding me. Shaping me. But what about my mom? He is doing the same in her? Does she know He is here? It is hard when we don't understand and where we don't have answers. So what do I do? I pick myself up off the floor at the side of my mom's bed and move to the quiet of the living room where I call out to the Lord. I search for answers. I search for peace to cover me and to blanket her through this difficult time. I just sit crying. Letting go of the hurt I just want to scream out loud and ask God, "Why"? But I do not scream. As I sit here quietly being still I hear His voice. I hear His comforting words of, "Be still my daughter." I feel His presence and His comfort soon washes over me. He gives me all I need to endure the night, making it through to see the sun shine through in the morning.

I refuse to blame God. I refuse to find anger in not understanding. There are moments of darkness that I fight my flesh. I wrestle with every emotion possible. But as I do I leave all those emotions at His feet. At the cross. And as I leave them there I am able to stand and walk knowing He is in control. I trust Him. I know I can do it with His love and strength. Just when I think I can't do it anymore, He is there to fill me with a strength I didn't know possible. When I feel like giving up I picture my Savior on the cross, enduring for me. Suffering for me and in that moment I am able to continue on because I know through His enduring comes life everlasting.

2 Corinthians 4:8-18 "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, 'I believed in God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God's grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.' That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet, they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now, rather, we fix our gaze on the things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."
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