I felt helpless as I watched tears fill her eyes as we talked. So much of our conversation had been about what was not right with the world. What may be even the more difficult to face was what was not right in the world of her heart. So, much pain that had not found a place of release or healing. What could I say that could provide any help or solace, any peace or comfort?
It is hard to watch grief that sees no hope. I watched her dear face contort under the heaviness of sorrow and longed to reach out over Skype and give her a hug across the distance of miles that separated us. There were no easy answer for her questions. No easy solution to solve the heartbreak.
In our world of easy access to information and knowledge, it seems like that is where we first turn to when we feel helpless. Our understanding of something is how we survive it. But there are times in our life when understanding or more information does not touch the wounds we have received. Wounds that are literally beyond our knowledge to heal.
Suffering is not a puzzle which can be solved with the right solution. It is a mystery. But a mystery that offers an invitation. To come out of the shell of our own perspective and look up. When we look up, we acknowledge there is Someone greater than ourselves. We recognize that our understanding of the world is partial and incomplete. We step away from the lonely island of self-sufficiency and grasp outward for connection to hope for something better than the mess we see in our own hearts.
We become children again – trusting that there is a Father who can make all things right again. When we start this journey outward and forsake the continual inward wrestling that runs us in endless cycles of “whys?” and “what ifs?” going nowhere, we begin to open our ourselves to the provision that has been made for such a time as this.
The mystery of Christ.
The mystery of His suffering.
The mystery of His death.
The mystery of the Cross.
This kind of deep provision for our deep need can only be received by the heart that has been broken. God cannot be approached by the scholar or the sage in their all-knowing wisdom. They have not yet come to acknowledge their need. There is no provision for those who do not know their need. We can only come when we have given up on finding our own answers and solutions and making our own provision.
The irony is that it takes time for us to learn to become children again. It is a reversal we do not expect. As we grew up in the physical realm, we learned more and more how not to depend on others. However, as we grow in our knowledge of God, we learn to become more and more expressive of our need. For we begin to see that He is the Source from whom all our life flows.
It is a gradual process that takes many hard lessons before we are willing to continually acknowledge our need and unlearn our early mantra of “I do it myself.” We begin to see that our need actually draws us closer to the Provider. When we finally come full circle to becoming like little children, we no longer try to fit the puzzle of our life together or try to mend the shattered pieces of our heart on our own.
Little children run to their parents for everything – they want a drink, they want praise for their drawings, they want a healing embrace when they skin their knee , they want justice when their brother has wronged them, they want to know that everything is okay, they want to know they are loved.
If we can learn that simple lesson of running to Him – not with our resume and demands, but with the heart of a child who sees their need for Someone greater. He will always meet us there. There at the point of pain and woundedness. There are the point of shattered dreams and frustrated desires. There at the point of death, disaster, and divorce. It is here. Here at the point of our desperate need that He can become our Provision. For no matter what we think we need, it is only a signpost that points to our need of Him. As it is written –
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
In every day, In every way – He is our faithful and mysterious Provision. He knows our heart’s pain and our heart’s journey better than we know it ourselves. He walked the road ahead of us, so that He could Shepherd us every step of the way…home.