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