I came across this quote this morning and haven’t stopped thinking about it all day:
“I can still believe that a day comes for all of us, however far off it may seem, when we shall understand; when tragedies that blacken and darken the very air of heaven for us, will sink into their places in a scheme so august, so magnificent, so joyful, that we shall laugh for wonder and delight” (Arthur Christopher Bacon).
When I first read this my heart leapt at the anticipation of how radically different the suffering and difficulties I’ve experienced will look once I’m in heaven. But as I moved throughout my day a wonderful thing has happened.
I realized I am already peeking at a grand and divine scheme in my 57 years.
Like you, I have had my share of trials. I used to minimize them with “at least I’ve never had a child diagnosed with terminal cancer” thoughts. While I remain very grateful for this and ache for those who have walked through this horrific trial, I’ve learned from John Piper that we are all suffering saints in need of the comfort and help of our Savior. While suffering isn’t all equal in the affects in our lives (having a child with cancer has different affects than financial hardships) Christians are all promised “trials of various kinds” in this life for which we are told to “count it all joy.”
One particular season came to mind today. Nearly 15 years ago I went through a painful season following the sinful choices of a teenaged child. In the days and months that followed, I was reeling from the rippling affects of sin. Morning after morning I was on my face in my bedroom, crying out to God for help and comfort and hope.
God gave me peeks into His word: “Why are you downcast…later on, there will be fruit…he is close to the brokenhearted…suffering produces endurance…God is faithful…joy comes in the morning…you will reap if you do not give up.” I reached to Him for faith to believe these words. Sometimes faith would spring up in my heart only to be dashed with more sadness or regret. A hurting comment. A discouraging email. A confused or sad child.
Today I can see magnificence and joy and blessing where there was once only darkness, uncertainty, and pain. The very trial our family walked through has resulted in sweet and nourishing fruit. It’s good to remember how awful it was, because the contrast makes the God-honoring fruit all the more precious.
Are you hurting today? Suffering due to the sinful actions of another? Facing a tragedy that tempts you to wonder if you will ever really laugh again?
I may know how you feel. I also know that God is truly faithful. Joy will come. I hope your morning is soon. But if not, I know God is there to give you comfort, strength and hope to wait for the day when you’ll realize you’re happy again.
Lord, for anyone who happens onto this blog and is hurting, I pray that You will send each Your comforting presence. You, the suffering Savior, sympathize with our weaknesses and suffered to the end to provide us the Comforter. Please come and plant seeds of hope into hurting hearts today. And bring faith, Lord. Please. Bring faith.