"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." - Romans 5:2b-5
This was a friend's Facebook status today. Here I wrote yesterday that I thought I was doing all that I was supposed to in living my life and then very easily and quickly this morning in church did I get the slap on the hand that I needed.
Not only is it not my place to be disappointed in God, I realize that my disappointment and anger, are just misdirected. My pastor told me this morning that someone (forget who) said after losing a child that they were angry...and then the guy was told by someone else that he had every right to be angry--just give credit where credit is due. Death is not what God created us for. It was introduced to us by evil himself, and at that evil should my anger be pointed. And trust me, every day it gets easier and easier to be angrier and angrier. Remembering to whom I need to direct that anger makes me feel better--I know this may sound weird, but I mean it in the way that it surely relieves my guilt and anxiety being totally and wholeheartedly disgusted with the devil than to even contemplate anger at God. Sort of like I feel vindicated in being angry at the devil but anger at God just leaves me hurt, scared and guilty.
John told me yesterday that all of this certainly puts perspective on how fragile and precious life is, and maybe that's what I needed to remember. I admit, I got a little aggravated at him for telling me that because I have ALWAYS known how fragile and precious life is. Remember, *I'm* the one that is constantly consumed with fear of losing my loved ones because I know how easily life is ended. And this is who I was WAY before Matthew was even thought of...I was the one who was writing letters to the editor when I was 7 because I didn't want people to have abortions and their babies to die...boxing up my food (and not just the peas and lima beans) for the starving little boys and girls in Ethiopia. I am the one who people (affectionately, I'm sure) call worst-case scenario Sue because I know how fragile our human lives are. I am the one who has always craved the big, boisterous family get-togethers because I know how fast time flies and have never wanted to miss a second to enjoy my family and friends. I am the one who constantly has given thanks to God for everything--when I find a pair of shoes I was looking for, or remember where I parked the car, I always, always say, "Thank you, Lord for helping me." I am the one who has begged and plead with God for years to make me a mother, to give me the opportunity to have a child and give that child to God....trust me, I knew far before we lost Matthew how precious lives are...from conception to the last breath. I do NOT think that is what I am supposed get out of all of this.
Seeing this verse this morning, and seeing that I am commanded to rejoice in my suffering...ouch! This hurts because while I want to do what I am commanded to do, my suffering is so deep right now...it's very hard to rejoice when one feels as if they will never get rid of the lump in their throat or the gaping wound in their heart. But to go from suffering to perserverance, then character and then hope--well, I have to admit I am so thirsty for hope. And take note...hope does NOT disappoint us. Hope does not disappoint us.
So how can I be disappointed in God? I can't.
I miss Matthew so much that I still cannot breathe sometimes. Literally. I can't swallow, I tear up and I just can't breathe. I want to crawl into my bed and just cry. I think if I allowed myself, I'd literally run out of tears before I lost the motivation to cry...I want that baby in my arms so badly, I feel like I'd make just about any deal out there to have him. (Yes, I realize this is part of the bargaining stage) My heart feels like it will just explode and I feel like my world has come to an end.
But I have to say, in all of this...I still feel like this is a test...and tests have winners. I have hope that if I just hold up my end of the deal, as impossible as it seems, and continue to try and glorify God and show that even in devastation, we survive...I'll win.
And hope does not disappoint. It seems like it does, friend...beleive me....it absolutely, positively SEEMS like it does. But without it, there's nothing...and that just can't be and isn't true. My fear is that we don't realize that unless we stay the course. The course, though, is hell and easy to fall from.
BUT....hope does not disappoint.