leaning, clinging, trusting

By the grace of God, I have been able, for the most part, aside from a few weak moments, to keep a stiff upper lip throughout this ordeal.

Yesterday, however, someone had the nerve to post a sappy love song on Facebook, and like a moron, I clicked on it. Within seconds, I was a puddle. (Click here if you must, but be warned.)

Somehow, love is sweeter where pain has made the heart raw. I count myself among the blessed few to feel an acute sense of mortality, yet to have the chance to cherish those I love while they are still here. So many have suffered loss without a moment to say goodbye. Those folks hold my deep regard, and my heart aches for them.

Jesus wept. Lazarus had died, and Mary and Martha were mourning the loss of their brother. Jesus came to Bethany, and they came to him (at different times) and said the same thing: “Lazarus wouldn’t be dead if you had only come earlier.” But Jesus’ reaction was different to each woman. With Martha, He gently reassured and corrected her, saying “I am the resurrection and the life.”

But when He saw Mary weeping, He wept, too.

This was the same Mary who, bearing the scorn of others, had anointed His feet (‘in preparation for burial’) with the costly ointment, and washed them with her tears, humbly drying them with her hair. This same Mary, forgiven much, had sat at His feet, listening to His words, while Martha was crossly running around and resenting Mary for not helping her.

He had no logical reason to truly be sad about Lazarus—He knew that in a few moments, he would live again. What struck His heart, I believe, is the sight of one of His beloved in pain. Though He knew Mary’s sorrow wouldn’t last long, He still felt it just as deeply as she.

We have not a high priest who cannot be touched by the feeling of our infirmities. He is compassionate, understanding our feelings of helplessness and sorrow when we are powerless.

He cares for His own. He mourns with us, cries with us, though not in despair, because in Him we have hope. And on His everlasting arms we lean, more aware than ever of their strength.

The intense pain felt in difficult moments sharpens the color of life, bringing meaning into the most mundane details, teaching us to appreciate the small things that He has ordained. I am determined to see Him in everything, to catch the lingering scent of Him where His hands have expertly carved our path.

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone. There is no covering up ‘no strength.’ It is the lame man who was carried to Jesus by his friends. It is Lazarus, dead in the grave. It is the realization that you can do nothing to fix your situation.

And it is moments like these that teach us to collapse on the Rock, to cling to Him like a belt, and know that we shall not be moved.

2 thoughts on “leaning, clinging, trusting

  1. That’s a beautiful word picture, Brooke … “collapse[d] on the rock, cling[ing] to Him like a belt.” It brings to my mind another picture … a ship in a storm. The waves are rolling high, tossing the boat violently this way and that. The sails, which usually are relied upon to propel the ship, are useless. The navigational aids are no real help at at a time like this. All the sailor can do is let down the sea anchor, praying that the anchor chain will hold … and then go to the center of the ship. There’s no point in standing at the rail, watching the waves … he only puts himself in more peril of being washed away by the crashing waves. It makes no difference how long he has “mastered” the sea … at this moment, he is as helpless as a stowaway … but not completely HOPEless. He knows that at the center of the ship is the main mast, stout and strong. If anything survives on the ship, it will be this. And so here the sailor not only wraps his arms around it, but he LASHES himself to it. He cannot trust the strength of his own arms or his own will. Come wind, come wave, though tossed off his feet … he is lashed to the foot of the upright timber at the very heart of the vessel. There is no safer place.

    Brooke, yes, the Lord will show you wondrous things in your storm … in the scenery surrounding you, and you should be looking for it … in what God is doing all around you in this fiery trial. But, do not feel embarrassed or weak when all you want to do is lash yourself to the foot of the cross. Hang on. Your anchor holds, and grips the Solid Rock.

Leave a Reply