I struggled with God last week. Or I don't know, maybe it was the week before. I'm not sure, because it all seems so long ago, the struggle. The struggle to see. The struggle of being still. I had it out with God and fell at His feet, begging Him to please let me see. I was so tired of waiting and walking by faith. I grew impatient and just wanted God to let me see that this whole Christian walk thing was real. To reassure me that His promises are real. I missed my son, and missing makes a mother scream. And it's not the same pain of missing David, our Brazilian-exchange-student-turned son, who moved to Florida two months ago. I know that David is here on this earth, alive and well and less than 2,000 miles away. I can pick up the phone and talk to him and hear his voice. I can Skype with him whenever we want. Who can say, however, how many miles away Heaven is?
I pleaded with God to give me an answer, to just show me something, some sign that would help me in these aching, withdrawal tremors of missing Matt. But I didn't get an answer. I climbed into bed that night with a heavy heart, wondering why God was silent, wondering why this faith thing has to be so hard some days.
The next day, still heavy with missing Matt, still wanting to see, I went to my Precept Bible study on the book of John. The video that evening was on chapter 14 of John, and Kay Arthur spoke about peace. Her talk was titled, "Six Things You Can Do When Your Heart is Troubled." "Really, LORD?" I thought. Tell me He doesn't see and hear the heart cries of His children. I knew He had a word for me. I knew He had heard my cry. I needed to hear from my Abba Father. I wanted Him to comfort and reassure me.
Peace, as Kay explained, is "not an absence of outward turmoil. It is an inward sense of goodness that is unrelated to circumstances. It is undisturbed, untroubled well-being." She went on to explain that there are six things you can do when your heart is troubled.
1. Believe. The key that unlocks the inner sanctum of peace is faith. And faith is taking God at His word.
2. Remember that God does not lie.
3. Look to God's future for you.
a. look to eternity (not to the temporal)
b. look to your heavenly father
c. look to your calling - the words and the works you do manifest God's glory
4. Ask in His name - according to Jesus' character and His word
5. Never forget that you are not alone.
6. Love and obey.
I chuckled to myself when I heard the first point. It was as if God was telling me, "See? I told you so. Just keep believing. Trust me." But it was point number two that brought quick tears to my eyes. How I needed to be reminded that God does not lie! His promises are true. Eternal life in heaven is real. Our loved ones are alive in heaven, and we will see them again. The pain of missing Matt had blinded my vision of the truth last week, and I had lost sight of hope.
In my missing Matt, I had grown impatient. And God, who is El Roi, the God who sees when I don't, gave me hope, again, through the words of Ann Voskamp. How to keep hoping when you want to give up. My hope was buried deep, yes. But God's word takes root in the dark and grows until it reaches the light. What a seed of encouragement! Hope sees in the dark with eyes of faith. When I cannot see, God does. And He plants hope.
Speaking of hope, here's to spreading some in the lives of 10 people last week:
Matt's GoFundMe update