Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Holding on to Hope...

...is the title of a book sent to me by my wonderful blogging friend Saralyn. Subtitled, A Pathway through Suffering to the Heart of God, the author's words are both amazing, encouraging, and soul-piercing all at the same time. I cry every time I pick it up. It reminds me of exercise in a way: I really don't *want* to do it, but I know it's good for me & I'll feel better after I do. Yesterday, my mom was here babysitting & when we returned she said, "I picked up that book and started reading it. How does she know exactly what I'm feeling?" Drawing on her own personal journey through painful {infant} loss, the chapters are short, but cut straight to His truth, based on the book of Job. I'm sure this won't be the last time I share about how God is changing me through what I've read....

Yesterday's chapter was titled "Mystery". It reflected on how we feel when God just isn't speaking to us, when it seems like He's silent as we're seeking answers or attempting to understand our suffering. Job can relate. I can relate. And I'm sure most of you can too. Job questioned. He struggled for it all to make sense. God didn't explain. He only answered Job's questions with more questions: Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Have you ever in your life commanded the morning...? Have you entered the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail...? {emphasis mine}

The author explains that God didn't reveal His plan to Job and He doesn't reveal everything to us either. Instead He reveals Himself. But it was one short sentence in the chapter that stopped me in my tracks. The rest of what I read was a blur because all I could think about was these seven difficult words:

God does not owe us an explanation.

And still now, it's so true, but yet I can't get 'past' that truth. After that sentence the author goes on to say that if He did explain the reason for our suffering, we think it would make the suffering easier. But would it? I'd have to agree with her that, no, it would not make the pain more bearable. I would not cry any less tears. My heart would not be any less broken if I knew the whys or what fors.

Over the last weeks, I've felt like the more I learn about God, the more mysterious He seems
{if that makes any sense} and the more sovereign I believe Him to be because it is revealed more and more to me that 'His ways are far above our ways'. And so I dare not even ask why {although all along I've always known the answer, which I'm sure I'll share in another post} and I pray I'll come to accept that He doesn't owe me an explanation for my pain. Moreso, I hope that, like Job, since I know who God is, I will be able to accept what God gives , even when I don't understand it.

Still Holding On~


Monica said...

She also has a devotional book called "One Year of Hope" I believe. I am only on like week three, and I love it! She does know exactly how I am feeling and it just makes things better.

Amy said...

Beautifully written. I can't help but sit here in tears while nodding my head in agreement with you.

You are in my prayers.


Joan Carr said...

Love books, and I get so much help out of books and from the insight of different authors.

Several years ago, I was beginning to learn to function again after being almost housebound due to depression and severe back pain for 5 years. I studied the book of Job and read JOB by Chuck Swindoll. It is a very good book and it helped me not be so hard on myself if Job suffered with some of these same feelings and he was a just and upright man. I know my situation does not compare to yours in anyway shape of form. But I know God is big enough for us all.

One day at a time, and sometimes 1 minute or 1 hour at a time is all you need to get through.

I'm still praying for you and your family.

The Pifer's said...

I found you through April Rose, Im just a blog away (thepiferfamily.blogspot.com) please know I am here for you...

Praying for your family

Peaceful Chaoz said...

"God does not owe us an explanation."

Been thinking about this one all day. Thank you for this post.

Love you!

Ebe said...

A friend recommended that book to me as well. I haven't gotten yet. You'll have to post how you like it when you're done (take your time, though).
I read Elizabeth McCraken's book and it took me FOREVER to read it. I just kept picking it up and putting it down. It was A LOT.

I, too, often feel like I will never wrap my head around who God is. He is just so BIG. It took me a long time to get to the place where I didn't need an answer to my 'why' questions.
I am praying for you.

Keep talking to God...that's about all I can say.


stephanie said...

It looks like Saralyn put the right book into your hands.I hpoe it helps with your healing process.As always sending prayers

Nancy Guthrie said...

I love it that you mom wonders how I know how she is feeling! And I'm glad the book is meeting you where you are.
I'm still holding on too . . . it's a daily choice, isn't it?

Rebecca said...

Oh Nancy! Thank you so much for commenting here. I can't tell you how much that means to me. Your book.....is just such a blessing. A painful blessing. Is there such a thing?? I pray that someday I will be able to use Olivia's story for His glory the way that you have used yours as well. Maybe that is already happening, but it is just so, so hard to remain faithful to Him during this time.