The Great Sadness

Yesterday I finished reading the chapter titled, The Great Sadness, from the book The Shack by WM. Paul Young. And the tears flowed. There was so much overwhelming grief pouring out of my soul that I was confused about why I was even reading this book. But I know that reading this book was recommended not to make me sad but for me to grow. God does that sometimes too, doesn't he? Uses pain to help us grow.

As I was wiping away the tears and blowing my nose and feeling too many feelings my temptation was to stop reading the book. But what would that really do? Then I would have been left with my feelings and had no resolution. I realize this book is technically fiction but the sadness is very real. There are lots of people that face these kinds of situations all the time, everyday, and it breaks my heart. I hate the idea of someone hurting, especially a child. So now what?

Am I going to keep reading? Am I going to keep living when life feels really awful? Do I wake up each new day with more hope or more dread? Do I wake up and thank God that I'm awake?
This morning I was reading my @first5 devotion and it was on Job 34 and it moved me to tears again. This time I was able to keep them in my eyes and not sob uncontrollably but the feeling was ignited. The challenge in the devotion today, for me was about not expecting God to only bless me and to not think that if I'm in a trial or troubling time that he's punishing me. To shift my focus to think about how truly blessed I am everyday. No one is righteous, no one is blameless, and no one deserves the grace given through Jesus Christ. It is the most amazing gift in the entire universe! I don't want to take that for granted.

So today I'm going to pick up that book, The Shack, and I'm going to read the next chapter. I am going to face whatever lies next on those pages. And I'm going to remember that every day I can wake up each new day and face what's next. God has proven to me time and time again that he will get me through the challenge. It is not easy and it is not without tears or a little pain. But God always comes through. For it is with God that anything is possible. Without God, I don't even want to think about it.

What are you facing this morning, this afternoon, this evening that feels insurmountable? Are you trying to do this alone? Do you reach out to God before you reach out to a friend? I confess that I struggle with that a lot. I have a problem with not sending my prayers straight to God and wanting someone on earth to help me but they just don't know what He knows. Had I not been studying Job through this @first5 app I might not have ever picked up on the verse in the very beginning of Job that mention that God allowed this to happen because he knew Job's character. The people that are trying to help him in this book, the friends, the "wisdom" speakers, they don't know what God knows about this interaction with Satan in Heaven. Now that I'm reading it and thinking about that, it helps me understand Job a bit differently and also why I shouldn't run to other people first with my problems. Additionally, as I'm learning in the area of 12 steps and recovery, I think this is good reflection for giving healthy feedback. We need to be careful with what we say, we are not all knowing and we cannot fix someone with our words.

Dear God, thank you for your amazing grace! Thank you for being there to hear me when I'm not willing to even speak. Thank you for knowing the groans in my heart, the aches from my soul. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit that prays on my behalf when I have no words. Forgive me for when I am forgetful of Your amazing power and I go to others instead of You. Help me to remember that You have the plans, You have the blueprints for my life. You alone deserve my praise. In your deserving name, amen.

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