7 Truths On Which to Dwell on the Hard Days {And Every Day}

This is always a hard day for me. The story behind that is not entirely mine to tell, and therefore I'll leave it at that. These thoughts are pulled from something I wrote several years ago on this date which had far too many details for general publication. This year as I was re-reading it, I decided to pull out the important parts and redesign them into something post-able, leaving out the more personal bits that don't need to be shared.

There are many memories associated with this day...memories that used to be good, but that now bring  a grapefruit-sized lump in the throat, a dagger-like sensation in the chest, and a frantic feeling of needing oxygen upon the slightest attempt to remember.

A wise older man once said to a friend of mine, “There are things worse than death.”  I think of that this morning as I sit wishing that the good memories weren’t tainted with such horrible, horrible stains, like photos that have mildewed under a leaky roof.

Things worse than death indeed.

This day always brings up questions...lots of questions. Questions that, if I let them, could send me into a lasting catatonic state. 

They flit into my head and I have to immediately shuttle them back out. I cannot dwell on any of them. Like another recent tragedy that has hit very close to home, I know there are no answers, and that there will never be this side of Heaven. Therefore, the questions must not be allowed to invade.  The truths I must dwell on, today and always, are these:

*God knew every jot and tittle of every circumstance that has occurred before any of it came to be. In fact, He knew this before the foundation of the world!

*God is not taken by surprise…not one iota…by any of the circumstances that shock us and send us reeling. 

*God loves our children even more than we do, and He has a plan for them…a plan for good and not for evil, a plan to give them a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11)

*God loves those who have done evil to us. Their sin is not past being forgiven. They are no more and no less sinners than I am, or than any other person on earth, alive or dead. We are all sinners.  Our sin...all sin...is heinous…even though some may not appear as heinous as others. The difference is, we have experienced His grace and mercy, and been transformed into new creatures...not because of anything we have done, or any good in us, but because of His work in us.

*God is sovereign. God is good. God has already triumphed over evil. And He tells us in His Word that He carries us in the palm of His hand. He never left any of us for one minute during the worst of the dark days. He promises us that in His Word…that He will never leave us or forsake us. 

*He has kept our tears in a bottle! (Psalm 56:8) He cares for our pain! And one day, He will wipe away all tears from our eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain. (Rev. 21:4) What a tremendous thought for those who belong to Him.

*My responsibility now? To worship and obey. To be the wife and mother God has called me to be. To be ready and willing to share Him at any opportunity. The words to the chorus we’ve sung so often this year flood my mind again this morning. When I don’t understand, my response should be worship. The things I don’t understand…the unanswered questions that are always just below the surface…these are constant reminders of His greatness, and my weakness. His ways are higher than our ways. He is holy, and sovereign, and all-powerful, and all-wise, and I am not.  He sees the past, present, and future clearly, and orchestrates it all in His power, while we see through a glass dimly. 

Worship, obey, believe, and press on. 

“Bow the knee.  Trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.  Bow the knee.  Lift your eyes toward Heaven and believe the One who holds eternity.  And when you don’t understand, the purpose of His plan, In the presence of the King, Bow the knee.”
~Chris Machen

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3: 13-14


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