Carrying What Cannot Be Fixed
September 19, 2022
I have said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world. John 16:33 CEB
Though Jesus had the resources of the universe at His fingertips, even within Him, He chose to live on this earth and experience the limitations and pain of humanity. He was the ultimate realist. He didn’t say things like, “Sure, you’ll have a rough patch now and then.” He acknowledged that the unthinkable could happen, causing extreme distress. But He pointed us to His presence. He would be with us when we face those situations that are so hard and permanent, they just can’t be fixed. The wound is deep, and things will never return to what they once were. But when we turn to Him, we can find a way through and discover some life-giving truth.
God deepens and maximizes our closeness and relationship to Him in our grief and suffering. Often when things are going well, we think we can handle them. We don’t turn to Him with the intensity and dependency we do when our hearts ache and there’s nowhere else to go. Your pain is just the right time for God to draw you close if you let Him.
Unexpected suffering and adversity will be used by God to find great strength if we don’t isolate. Of course, our wounds present times most of us turn to God, but often we turn away from others and isolate. However, God not only gives us resources of prayer and Scripture to help us, if we will open our eyes and take advantage of it, we will see He surrounds us with spiritual friendships that will be deep wells of greater strength. When my husband died suddenly 3½ years ago, I was the lead pastor of a wonderful church and had many friends who supported me. But I was very concerned about my grief becoming too much of a focus for others, not allowing them to process their own heartaches. Momentarily I was tempted to isolate, toughen up, and bear it alone. Then, through sharing with my sister-in-law, she wisely and graciously invited me into her small group. I weekly get the opportunity to draw strength from them. I have wept, laughed, suffered, and healed with them. These five women have been great tools from God for carrying my unfixable loss.
God helps me overcome and gives me new opportunities to bless and be blessed. God is radically invested in my situation and my pain. He is always working with me to find purpose and redeem my heartache. As I discover new purpose, I find my gratitude continually growing, my joy multiplying, and I see God moving in new ways despite my loss. Personally, my permanent wounding that will not be fixed in this life has been the launching point for new ministry and usefulness. I have found that where my human strength ends, His begins.
When the unfixable happens, the only control we have is if we will choose to work with God. Every time we do, we will become stronger by embracing His perspective instead of our own.
- God, help me rely on You and Your resources to carry what can’t be changed. Amen.