Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Why We Are Here

Sisters: "I will never leave you alone."
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 
2 Corinthians 1:8-10 ESV

I have read and wrestled and prayed over these verses. I have searched for others, I have tried to write something else for you to read today... I can not escape these words and the intenseness of being "so utterly burdened." I can not out run the heaviness that, "we despaired of life itself."

The pain was real, and so was the deliverance.

I struggled with how I am to share these words with you, what is it that God wants me to do with them. How do I talk about, "being burdened beyond our strength to the very point that we despaired of life itself"? How do I do that? How do I do that as a parent of a child with a disability?

How do I tell you my body is tired, my muscles are permanently tense, my fingernails are gone and I've gained forty pounds I will never be able to lose?

How do I tell you, my soul is weary and my pillow is soaked with tears?

How do I put into words, the paralyzing fear I have experienced; when I am putting my soon to be 18-year-old son's pajamas on him at night and brushing his teeth and I wonder, "who will do this when I am not here?"

How do I explain to you that the only way I can breathe every day is knowing that God loves my child?

How do I help you understand that the only way you will have peace through this existence is to know that a God who loved you enough to sacrifice is own son is the God that is walking every step of this journey with you and your child?

You see, I finally realized something after all of the praying and reading and thinking about these verses. I was focused on the wrong part. I was focused on the heavy, so focused, in fact, that I almost missed the most important sentence. The part that shows me why I am here, writing to you today...

"For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the afflictions we experienced..."

Life is not always pretty, it's rarely easy, and we can't do it alone. God never intended for us to walk these paths alone. He has carefully planted and placed just the right people, waiting for you all along the road you will travel. Some of us will be there with a helping hand, some of us will be there to lend an ear or a shoulder, and some of us will be there with our words.

We will share our experiences and stories because you need to see where God works in the lives of families and individuals just like you, you need to know that you are not the only one and you are not alone.

I want you to know that.

God wants you to know that.

So I pray for us all today:

Dear Heavenly Father, we can not take a step, that You are not already there. God may that knowledge be forever written in our minds and on our hearts. May Your constant presence be a comfort to those of us who are feeling burdened, and weary and hopeless. I pray that every person You have placed and planted, to help and listen and speak up, be strengthened by Your grace to fulfill their every purpose. God I know that we do not always see the purpose in our suffering and especially in the suffering of our children, I pray Your comfort and Your strength to walk the path set before us. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.

~Beth

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