Thursday, April 12, 2012

the pain of no

No matter where I turned yesterday I bumped up against God’s no in people’s lives.

No, there’s still no work.
No, you were not chosen.
No, your home life is not going to change any time soon.
No, you did not pass. 

By the time I crawled into bed I could not breathe with the weight of everyone’s pain pressed against me. 

This morning I woke up feeling the agony of it.  I cried out Lord, where is the comfort for all of these people? 

And as I lay in bed this is what he said: 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  (James 1:2-4  NIV)   

Pure joy was what I saw in the face of the young woman who showed me her engagement ring last night.  Pure joy was what I saw in the eyes of the adults who watched a few hundred kids walk into church on “crazy hair” night.  Pure joy was when I got to hold the roly-poly three-month-old boy with no bones yet –just an armful of baby-powder-smelling goodness. 

Isn’t completeness everything we’ve ever hoped for?  Don’t we long to wake up and actually have a day where we lack nothing in our souls?  If you knew that’s what your painful no was bringing to you, wouldn’t you open your arms and say yes to it?   

Yes, Lord.   

Welcoming in the pain, because there’s something you know.  The pain has a purpose.  It’s the test of faith, and if you can stick it out there’s everything you ever wanted on the other side of it. 

Rejoice, my friend who was not chosen. 
Rejoice, my friend when you go home to craziness and fighting.
Rejoice, my friend when you wake up and know you’re going to have to take the class over. 

And I will rejoice if I call up my medical transcription website and there’s no work again today.  I’ll just get down on my knees and say thank you to the Lord who cares about if I’m ever complete. 

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