I'll be honest with you. This idea of God repurposing the great hurt and/or mistakes we've made in our lives has sat pretty heavy in my gut the last few weeks.
I haven't known what to do with it, mainly because in many ways I've felt like some of the pain I've experienced in my life hasn't had a point; it was just PAIN. Sitting there on the windowsill of my heart like a house fly, mocking me at my own humanness in being unable to get rid of it. You know flies. They love to sit there until you swat, then fly quickly away. You can almost hear the mocking.
I heard “I'm sorry, your baby doesn't have a heartbeat” more times than I can count. There were those two times I had emergency surgery to save my life as a result of my body's inability to grow a small human, something my friends seemed to do effortlessly. They expected a healthy baby and a healthy, breathing baby is what they got.
There I was, sitting in the mire, crying out to God on the front steps of our little house, snowflakes falling all around me, wondering if God would allow the baby I was carrying to live or, if, like the doctor said, she would pass away shortly after birth.
After our last child was born I underwent an emergency hysterectomy at the age of 32. I remember lying there as doctors swarmed around me (there were 17 people in that room), desperate in their attempts to stop the blood from leaving my body. It was terrifying. I wondered why God allowed me so much hurt.
I have three living, healthy children, and still the pain of it all remains.
I was complaining about all of this to a friend and about how I just wanted to forget this painful time in my life.
“But why, Rachel?” was her thoughtful response. “If you forgot it all, then it would have been all for nothing.”
Talk about a plank to the face.
What great hurt have you been holding onto? What great heartache do you hold dear to your heart but refuse to let the Great Healer grab hold of and make something beautiful?
When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. (5:27-29)
What did the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years gain by stepping out in faith for Jesus to heal her? What did she risk?
Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” (5:22-23)
|yes. i'm sure it all happened in black and white.|
Most of us have never been in the position where we're asking God to heal our sick child. This man who asked Jesus to heal his sick daughter was a man of high stature in the community. How did asking Jesus to heal his daughter put him in a state of vulnerability? What was he risking in asking?
Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. (5:33)
God already knows our whole truth. The thing is, He wants US to choose to tell it back to Him, and to allow Him to turn it into something great. How did this woman allow God to use her pain and her “whole Truth” to make something beautiful?
How can you? What is a first step you can take, today, in trusting God with your whole truth?
“LOOK. YES, YOU, YOU JERK. I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW.”
What is God prompting you to hand over? What does that look like? Do you have an addiction you are struggling with? Are you having problems in your marriage? Broken relationships with your children? A past that haunts you every waking hour? An impatient spirit with your husband and kids? A hard and arduous journey towards becoming a parent that only A feeling that you are just generally 'tired of life' and God certainly can't have anything new for you because you are now considered a “senior?”
What does God want to make new, for you?
I'm still trying to figure it out.