Friday, February 7, 2014

Where is my God?

Psalm 42
1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
 Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.
O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
11 Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me? 
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

The guests had all left, and the younger boys were finally in bed. The annual Super Bowl party that we've hosted at our home now for about ten years was over. While it was fun, and we had a wonderful time spent with dear friends, I couldn't wait to go to my bedroom, shut the door, and lie on my bed and cry unhindered. I finally gave in to the tears that I'd held back for weeks. I miss my son. I ache with longing to see him, to speak to him face to face, to hear his voice.

I find myself fiercely fighting jealousy and self-pity as I read FB posts from other parents about their 18 year old. I have missed two and a half years of Matt's life. The thought made me weep all the more. These are the moments where I feel as if God is nowhere to be found. It is as if my cries fall on deaf ears to a silent and invisible God. Again, I lamented, "Why, God? Why?" The pain of losing my son inhabits the very marrow of my bones. Again, it hits anew that a part of me has died. I feel empty, and I am broken. All that's left of me is a shell.

I remain an amputee and, two and a half years later, I still reject this reality. I don't want to be a bereaved parent, and I don't want to "get used to" my loss. Yet I know that it is futile. I am fighting with my Maker. As much as we all want to think we're the ones writing our story, we're not. GOD is. He writes our story. We, however, tell it. The question for me now becomes, "How well will I tell it? Whose perspective will I use? Mine? Or God's?" My perspective is tainted. Tainted with grief and the confines of time. God's perspective is perfect and eternal.

I can't see God in these searing hours of pain, but my heart knows the truth. He is here. I desperately need God to show up, to remind me of how much He loves me. I only know of two ways He does this for me: 1) through His Word and 2) through music. When I focus on His Word I see not my loss, but Jesus. I, like Peter, can choose to look at my circumstances or look at the One who overcomes circumstances.

Jesus, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross. He didn't deny His pain. He didn't pretend it didn't exist. He kept His eyes on a future joy. He had the hope of eternity. He had the love of the Father. He chose the nails...for that some day there will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, no more pain. Only eternal life. Because He loves us.

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