God is Big Enough to Hold our Biggest Hurts and Make Them Beautiful.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”Matthew 6:34 NIV
Ten years ago, I faced my worst nightmare. I lost my husband of thirteen years to a rare cancer that took his life in seven months. I was left with two small boys and was given the new title of widow.
I was thrown into a new life and identity and I had a choice; I could either crawl into a ball on the floor, never leave the house again and expend all my energy trying to understand why this happened. I could have buried my face in the sand, written off God, and chosen to live in anger.
I could choose to trust God and believe His promises that He would never leave me (Deuteronomy 31:6) and that He could work my loss together for good. (Romans 8:28)
I recently had a friend express to me her intrusive fears of the possible experience of a tragedy befalling her family. She was living consumed with worry, and even spent time with God begging Him to never let anything bad happen.
She expressed how she didn’t want to live in fear, but she simply could not stand the thought of losing a child or her husband.
She knows my story and has seen living proof that one can, in fact, survive the intense loss, but she didn’t want that for her life and knew she couldn’t handle it.
I was able to encourage her with these truths:
We will have life beyond this earth, this is not all there is. We have eternity waiting for us, so we will all be OK no matter what happens on Earth.
This is a broad perspective for our finite human minds, but if we can wrap our heads around this truth even a little bit, it can put our hearts at ease.
Having an eternal perspective takes the load of us striving to live a life free of pain. Jesus tells us that we will have pain but He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Jesus gives us hope for a future free of pain.
“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”Revelation 21:1-4 NIV
We do not have control over what happens to us or the ones we love. We can live in fear and constant worry, convincing ourselves that we have control or we can choose to surrender it all to God.
This is challenging. It takes practice, but we can live a much more abundant life when we hand it to Jesus and let go of our worst fears.
Why spend our time worrying about things that aren’t happening when we could live a life free of fear, experiencing our life to the fullest?
If I had imagined that I would one day become a widow years earlier, I would have said, “There is no way I could handle that.”
That is a common statement when people talk about nightmare scenarios of losing a loved one or experiencing a tragedy.
Noone thinks they could handle loss or excruciating pain, but it happens nonetheless. To prevent said tragedy we wear ourselves out trying to control all the things in our life.
But the truth is we can’t fully prevent tragedy. We can’t have our eyes on our children so perfectly that nothing terrible will ever happen to them. We can’t worry ourselves into a place of control.
We live in a fallen, chaotic, and broken world. But we have a big, big God who IS in control and bigger than anything that could happen to us earthside.
EVEN IF something tragic did happen that God would be with us, and He would comfort us with His perfect and abundant peace. I know this firsthand as I experienced this miraculous peace when my husband died. I felt peace when it didn’t make sense (Phillipians 4:6) I knew that I wasn’t alone, I would be OK, and that God had bigger things for me.
Having an eternal perspective on our experiences puts them in their proper place. Our delicate human understanding can only see what is right before us, but our great God can see yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
He knows what is coming, and when we can trust that His plans are perfect and that what He allows is in His hands, we can live free of fear.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
This verse isn’t promising that bad things won’t happen. It simply reminds us nothing can touch us when we live in Christ Jesus. We might experience loss and hardship, but our ultimate destination is heavenly perfection.
So today, if you are living consumed with fear, practice surrender.
Envision your child, husband, loved one or anything you are afraid of losing sitting in your clenched fist. Open your hand slowly, shining light on your fear and exposing the lies. Now hand it to Jesus. Let him cradle your fears, releasing you of the strong grip they have on you.
Take a deep breath and know that no matter what, you are loved and you will be ok.
God is Big Enough to hold our biggest hurts and make them beautiful.
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