Monday, June 5, 2006

Down came the rain...and then...

You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8)
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! (Psalm 126:5)

Sowing in tears...that was my Friday. I didn't have to purpose to think or dwell or analyze anything. It was just there. The emotion and the tears were right there beneath the surface and anytime it got quiet or I was alone, tears were flowing. And God's bottle was filling up.

I didn't understand it. I didn't like it. No prayer, no amount of truth speaking could stop it. I'd pray and speak God's word and take a deep, shuddering breath and tears would flow all the more. Looking back, I know it was something that had to happen...something that had to die...and since grief is a part of death I just hung on until it was done. And thanked Him that I could still praise Him through the unexplainable storm of emotion knowing that He would never leave me and was working all things...even these tears...together for my good and His glory.

By that evening, I was tired...really tired.

By God's grace, I did not stop life. I did not go home and have a pity party. I did not dwell on my possibly dashed hopes. I did not question God. I did not let go of His truth. I did not run from the Lord...I ran to Him. I also went about the things I was called to do that day, and prayed and worshipped and cried all at the same time. I got up early and had my time with the Lord and went to work and met my deadlines and picked up my nieces and nephew and visited with family and friends.

As I was finally heading home late that evening, I prayed a quick prayer "Please don't let me have a tearful ride home," and closed the door and an unexplainable peace came over my heart. The CD player came on and I began to worship...and that peace has remained.

I still don't fully understand all the tears...disappointment just doesn't quite cover it. But I know that my tears have been stored and the very next day I was reaping shouts of joy. Nothing changed but me. Nothing...including my insight and understanding into the whole ordeal. The answers we seek are not always promised...but we are promised, whatever the ultimate answer or outcome, peace that goes beyond all our reason or understanding or preferences.

Not that He doth explain
The mystery that baffleth, but a sense
Husheth the Quiet heart, that far far hence
Lieth a field set thick with golden grain,
Wetted in seedling days by many a rain;
The End - it will explain.
(Amy Carmichael, The End, in Toward Jerusalem)

Again, I say...the End it will explain, and the end, it will be wonderful!

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