Friday, February 9, 2007

Everlasting Lovingkindness


I bit my finger when eating breakfast this morning. “Well, it’s just my finger,” I thought, “I’ll be alright.” What surprised me, though, was how long and intense the pain was. Even though I went on with what I was doing, it still hurt – a lot. I started to wonder whether or when it was going to feel better and then the pain just stopped. Actually, my finger still throbbed a tiny bit, but the pain’s intensity had dropped significantly. What relief.

And then my thoughts went back to my pain. Not the pain in my finger, but a different one. You see, I’ve been hurting for a while. My life's adjustment to a third child has been much harder than I ever expected. The transition to two kids was pretty easy, but this sweet little girl showed me that there is a lot to be worked out in my life. It’s not that I ever expected to have it all together, but I strive to care for my family and home well, and I'm not talking about Martha Stewart style here either. Anyway, I realize some things in my life need to change. I’ve been evaluating which standards and expectations need to be lowered, and which ones need to be raised. Without going into any of the menial details of my struggles, just know that I struggle – and it hurts. Right now, because I am in the midst of such intense pain, it can be hard to ever imagine that it ever will end. So right after I asked God if the pain was ever going to stop, I bit my finger. It hurt much more and for much longer than I would have liked, but it did stop. I realized at that moment that God, in His lovingkindness, was telling me, “Renata, do not grow weary, this too shall pass. Put your hope in Me.” Encouraged, I sat down to write these thoughts out. I don’t know why, but when I sat down I thought about a friend I hadn’t heard from in a while. Not even five minutes later, she called me. She told me how she was awake in the middle of the night (she’s pregnant, so the awakenings are common) and that it dawned on her last night that she hadn’t called me back. Of all nights she could have remembered me, last night was the one I needed her to. Not only was I up a lot with my children in the middle of the night, my soul was downcast. But once again, God made a way to show me that I was not alone and that He heard my cry.

I have often wondered what king David meant when he said that God’s “lovingkindness is better than life,” (Psalm 63:3). I think I have a better idea now, and for that I am very thankful. I am thankful that I know Christ as my Lord and Savior. I am thankful for the friendship I have with Him (John 15:15). I am thankful that His grace is greater than any hurt or struggle I could ever encounter, and that He shows me that I can endure all things because He strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). What a wonderful Savior!

“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches, for You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.”
Psalm 63:1-8 (emphasis mine)

“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Psalm 136:1


  1. Thanks for the open post Renata.
    I needed to read something like this tonight. It helps to read of others struggles. I know that probably sounds odd. I mean no one wants to see their friends struggle... but knowing I am not alone gives me comfort.

    Ive been struggling a lot lately being content and reading my bible, even praying. I have had such a lack of desire to read the word. Its almost like Im so tired... and so torn between all I have to do.. house work, the kids, travis, keeping in touch w/ friends/family, church, etc..etc... that the last thing I want to do come quiet time is read or pray. Im just so tired that I have no motivation within myself to do that.
    But I am convicted each and every time I make excuses or go a day without reading Gods word..
    Which for me I am thankful for.
    It shows that the Holy spirit is working on me.

    So you can keep me in your prayers regarding that.
    That I would have the desire and disciple to read the word and pray daily... cause lately... no the case.

    Caleb I think is getting another bad cold.. and Im just thinking "why... why another cold..." because this means Taite will get it. Caleb sneezed on Taite today.. so most likely Taite got the germ.
    Which means less sleep than we are already getting... which means even hard days.

    I feel so physically worn out. I dont know how you do it lol.
    Its very difficult for me.
    and I onyl have two!

    Its 9:30pm and ive been fighting Taite since 8pm to get him to sleep. Finally after trying to rock him (didnt work) I put him in the swing and that seems to be working. I hate to rely on swings like that... but I couldnt get him to sleep and he just kept on squirming and fussing. I didnt want to risk him waking Caleb.. who might I add has not been sleeping well.
    Hes been really emotional lately. I think tomorrow I may try and take him by myself to the mall on a date . He seems starved for my attention but Im so tired I find it hard to enjoy much time playing..

    You know how it is.
    Any way this comment has turned into a report haha.
    So im going to go. Taites still awake! grief! haha

  2. Drea,
    Thanks for sharing in your struggles too. I see your transition to two has been just as difficult as mine to three. My boys didn't have colds when they were little. My daughter has had 3. I have been tired for almost 5 years now. How do I do it? I take it one moment at a time, by the grace of God. When I ask other mothers how to do it, they also tell me to stick to the basics: My family has food to eat and clothes to wear. Remember that this is a season in your life and that seasons change.
    As for reading the word, keep seeking to do it, but don't beat yourself over the head. You have hidden His word in your heart for this very time.
    Also, I don't know how much music you play around the house (I haven't played much recently), but it helps me keep God on the forefront of my mind.

  3. By the way, this article has encouraged me:
    Today, I took the stand I hold my recipe books in and put my hymnal. I was able to sing some hymns while I was doing the dishes. I plan to do the same with my bible.

  4. Thanks fro sharing, Renata! Your insight and words are both encouraging and edifying. May I remind you (and Drea - Hi Drea!) of something in God's word that He showed me during my last pregnancy that really gave me much peace?

    Isaiah 40:11 -

    He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
    and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.

    The Lord grew me up so much during my last pregnancy and now with my little one (who is already 14 months old!) ... He has gently led "those that have young". What a good God He is!



  5. Thanks Heather for sharing that with us.