Life is full of the unexpected, the unexplainable, the unknown, the uncomfortable, and the unimaginable. And the older I get, the more tender my heart grows towards this inescapable reality.
At one time I would have said, sometimes my feet feel unsteady and shaky. But lately, I’ve found myself saying, oftentimes my feet feel unsteady and shaky. And there are even times when my feet stumble and give way and I end up with a twisted ankle and a limp.
I’m no expert, but I can tell you this: Life is hard. God is good. Expect to walk with a limp. Because who hasn’t struggled? Who hasn’t been discouraged? Who hasn’t been weary? Who hasn’t experienced hurt? Who hasn’t felt the brokenness that comes with being in this world, while waiting for a more glorious one?
His Words in the Middle of Our Suffering
We’ve all been wounded, some much more deeply than others. I have said “I’m so sorry” to friends close and far, online and in person, to my own broken heart and to my family a whole lot lately. And, dear you, I wish I could look you in the eye and tell you too, I’m so sorry for your pain, your loss, your trauma, and all the brutal lifetime fragments that come with it.
Though many times no words are more comforting than hearing someone recognize your pain with the words, “I’m sorry,” I will always unashamedly fight to hear His words over me (and you). His words are the only ones that can bring purpose to our pain.
Remember Job? The man who lost everything and plunged into the depths of suffering? His fighting words went something like this:
“‘Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ … Though he slay me, yet I will hope in him.’”
— Job 2:10, 13:15
Created to Tell Our Stories
And remember that limp I mentioned in the opening of this post? Well, it happened at the beginning of this year, and I found myself in a boot for about six weeks. I also found that complete strangers were much more willing to approach me, sometimes to help me with something and, without fail, to share the story of their limp or ask about mine. Which led me to wonder:
What if God made us to be Storytellers?
- Of the One who creates beauty from ashes.
- Of the One who frames strength from scars.
- Of the One who stoops down to lift us up.
I’m no expert, but I can tell you this: Life is hard. God is good. Expect to walk with a limp…and a story.
I can also tell you this: There’s a conspiracy out to put a stop to our storytelling. And the conspirator (sometimes the enemy, but often our own doubting, fearing, berating-selves) will incessantly whisper panic into our heart, unless we stay grounded in Him.
“But you, God, shield me on all sides. You ground my feet, you lift my head high. I will not be afraid,” declared King David ~ as he fled his son, fearing for his life while grieving unimaginable loss and betrayal.
So, to the one who longs to understand and be free of your ashes, your scars, your limp ~ I can confidently tell you this: You may never fully understand or walk with ease again, at least this side of Heaven.
I’m so sorry.
But, yeah, there is One who can make sense out of senseless, who can turn evil for good, who can ground our feet when they come right out from under us, and who stands victorious and immovable, whispering:
“Don’t panic. I’m with you. … I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” (Isaiah 41:9-10, MSG)
My God does not fail. May this be the story we fight to tell.