I have spent the last three days in a place too closely resembling the dark. I’m sure the details of which will come pouring out in a later blog, but for now, I thought I’d take advantage of the insomnia and a brief moment of clarity while treading water to share a small, yet significant, light bulb moment.
I have discovered, unfortunately, that there is something about pain and loss that makes me incredibly near sighted. Not the kind of near sighted I had fixed by a gifted ophthalmologist a few years ago, but the kind of near sighted that makes it virtually impossible for me to see past my own haze of pain and loss, to the world around me and the kingdom above me. Let me see if I can string enough words together to explain.
There is the kind of pain that explodes into your life with such force that you can’t believe that people within a two mile radius didn’t feel the reverberations. That makes you surprised that everywhere you look, people are just continuing on about life as if the world hasn’t actually slowed to a near stand still. They are going to work, buying groceries, and watching TV as if the searing hot white blast that is still causing your ears to ring and the breath to leave your lungs never happened.
There is the kind of loss that creates such a Huge void in your life that it sucks down with it things like laughter, days of the week, people’s names, prior commitments, and the ability to multi task. You stand at the edge of this vortex desperately trying to keep hold of your sanity with a white knuckled grip on HOPE. And sometimes that pain, it’s sucked down with the loss for awhile too. I believe it’s called “shock”.
But that HOPE I’m gripping? It’s not truly in my hands. It’s in the hands of my Savior. Or rather, at the foot of His cross.
This past Sunday, our message was titled, “Christ Centered Hope”. And I was blessed with the reminder of this message today. I’d like to say that my brain was functioning well enough that I remembered it myself. But alas, this information was in the fuzzy area obscured by pain and lost somewhere in the void. No, when I frantically searched for a piece of paper to write down our latest diagnosis and testing appointments, this conversation guide was closest at hand. Thank you God!
Colossians 3:1-2New International Version (NIV)
3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
So, where is my HOPE? Is it centered on the transient things of this world like finances, relationships, and health? Or is it focused on the HOPE in Christ?
Today, I am struggling to remind myself where I need to place my hope. I am struggling to see further than the pain and loss. Today, I am incredibly near sighted. But I’m also incredibly grateful that He is meeting me where I am and occasionally breaking through that haze to remind me that this is not my home, and my hope is not in my hands, but seated at the right hand of God. And He is with me.
For anyone reading who is struggling through the near sightedness of pain and loss, to see further than the grief:
Psalm 119:114 New International Version (NIV)
114 You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.
Isaiah 40:31 New International Version (NIV)
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.