Giving thanks is only this: making the canyon of pain into a megaphone to proclaim the ultimate goodness of God.
From A Holy Experience, by Ann Voskamp, blog for 6/21/11
I made it through the bike ride without crying. The focus was on raising monies for local women who have breast cancer, but it shifts in my brain to my brother. How he's not here.
And I am.
Father's Day comes and I cringe, not because my daddy died of cancer too, but for others I love and care for, experiencing pain and heartache because their Dad is gone.
And I am here.
I am certain if we were given the opportunity to drive our own lives, we would pass by suffering like it was a car going under the speed limit on a freeway. It would appear to be standing still and we would get to pass it by. Pain? No. Only a mere glance and it's gone.
One thing I know is this: God's character does not change. He is time-less. He is here now, and was there then and will be there-someday. He always is.
It is in this simple declaration that I live from day to day: God is good, God is faithful and He loves me. I spoke those words to about 500 people the day we celebrated my brother's life. I believed them and I still do.
I do not feel guilt because I am here on this earth. I am learning more of Heaven from a book I am reading by Randy Alcorn, and my sibling is in a place that lacks words to describe. I want him back, but after reading about Heaven, wow whee...
I ache when my eyes see mom, sitting in the HOPE garden. How she waits and longs for You Lord. I cannot fathom standing by my beloved's casket and then decades later, my child's--a son's casket. Should a mother bury her son? If I were God, the answer would be no. Yet God heaped all the world's sin upon His Son..
I am NOT God. I believe that in suffering, when I decide how God should have acted or did not act, I am forfeiting thankfulness.
I am saying I know better than He.
I am foolishly declaring my own god-ness and neglecting His deity, His character and His workings.
I am saying that I will praise Him when life is good and fun and happy but this kind of pain God?
Losing a brother and a daddy to cancer, and surviving it my self and wondering why?
I will say it again and again on this blog. I do not understand God's ways.
But I love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
In the crucible of suffering, I can emerge as a bitter cast of a human, filled with resentment and bickering----thinking God owes me big time.
or I can submit to the pain and let Him mold me and allow His Spirit fill me with joy and peace.
I am here Lord. It hurts Jesus.. My heart aches deeply...