Monday, October 26, 2009

Making Me Beautiful

Every cloud has a silver lining. What the heck does that mean? Clouds don’t have linings. They are vapors. And if they had linings, they couldn’t be made of silver. It is not flexible enough. It is metal, not cloth. Silver lining in clouds is impossible. Can there be good embedded in every situation?
Finding out from the doctor that the growth is malignant? The dreaded call that brings your life to a crumbled heap? The rejection that leaves your mind reeling and your faith in humanity shaken? The medical malpractice that brings your world to shambles? The job loss that leads you to destitution? Are there always “silver linings” whatever the heck they are? While silver lining doesn’t compute in my brain, I see in retrospect that every crisis carried with it a special touch, lesson, or revelation from the Lord. Sometimes, it took years to see the great grace that was embedded in the tragedy. Other times, it took days. At this point, I am still waiting to see the redemption of some losses.
Why does God have to allow clouds? Why do we even have to look for silver linings? We live in a fallen world. I get that. We face personal sin, environmental disasters, and physical illness. But why does such excruciating pain exist? Why do I have to face those moments, hours, and days that weigh on my chest and threaten to suffocate my spirit? Why do I have to crumble in a heap on the cold floor in my empty room in order to learn these lessons of the faith and see God’s hand more clearly? In hindsight, I guess I am glad for the pain—I think. But man, it is terrible.
What about when it is my fault? When I make a stupid choice or react unhealthily to an environmental stressor? What about when I dig myself deeper and deeper into a hole of self-pity or shame? Can God redeem those moments of utter disobedience or sheer ignorance?
What about when I have no control over the matter? What about through oversight or malevolence, I am wronged? What if sickness hits? What if accidents bring life to a screeching halt? Is there grace that is great enough to bring good out of these circumstances?
Sometimes the losses are unfathomable and I can never get back what I once had. But I must believe that God can bring some good from the pain. The pain is not in vain. Nothing does not pass through His allowance unnoticed. He knows. He knows the loss. He grieves with my loss. He sits next to me as I writhe in pain on a cold floor. He holds me in His arms as I weep. He lets me snot on His shoulder. He reminds me to take the next breath when I forget to breathe. He picks up my feet to walk when I cannot seem to gather the energy to take the next step. He holds my hands in His tender palms. He is gentle. He is kind. He is the stark contrast against the background of chaos and brutality. He is grounding when I am not sure what is up and what is down. I may question everything else but I know that HE IS.
Sometimes nothing makes sense. Sometimes the hurt is deeper than I am thick. Sometimes I pray for relief and relief doesn’t come. Always He is faithful. This isn’t cliché. It isn’t cliché because I know what it means. It isn’t a trite statement. It is the story of my broken life. It creates a tapestry out of my life of shattered pieces. Only God can make something beautiful out of the mess that is Megan. And He is making me beautiful.

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