Clutching my Bible and prayer journal, I retreated to my favorite chair, eager to spend some time with the Lord. Well, that’s what I told myself anyway. I really just wanted to feel better.
Here I am, Lord. I scratched the words on the page, searching for where to begin. Worship filtered through my headphones, the uplifting beat of the melody marking a stark contrast to my mood. My mind tuned to the lyrics, “All we need is You.”
Instantly, conviction pierced my heart with the unsettling knowledge that I didn’t agree—at least not that day. That day I needed more than Jesus. I needed Him to fix things.
Guilt compelled me to confess. I’m sorry, Lord. I want you to be enough, but this is too much . . .
A jagged scar from an old wound had just been torn open. The familiar longing for acceptance tugged at my heart, crying out for satisfaction. Rejection had found me again. But this time, it had come for my son.
That changes things. I can handle the battle when I’m at the heart of it. I’ve learned to trust God’s plans for me even when I can’t make sense of them. He’s proven Himself faithful over and over again.
But this felt altogether different. This wasn’t about me. This time my child’s heart had been shattered, and I desperately wanted to fix it. I can’t be expected to idly watch one of my precious ones suffer.
My heart rebelled at the injustice of it. Anger mingled with the pain, begging retaliation. This wasn’t fair. He deserved better.
God should do something.
Soon His gentle Spirit stirred within my heart, lifting the veil so I could see. Realization dawned, penetrating my grief with this undeniable truth: God knew. He understood rejection. He understood the pain of seeing His Son cast aside—of wanting the world to recognize His great value, yet seeing it deny Him.
“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” John 1:11, ESV
In that moment, I knew His suffering. I felt His pain. How the Father must have wept when they rejected Jesus. How He still must weep as we repeatedly devalue His only begotten Son . . . the Son He loves . . . the Son He gave.
Hope flickered through my sorrow, God’s own understanding of my feelings encouraging me to press in close. I asked Him to speak to me, to help me trust Him with my own son’s fragile heart. I needed Him to help me believe what I knew His Word declared: that His plans for him are far greater than my own.
True to who He is, God answered. Once again, His Spirit stirred, reminding me of truth. God never allows suffering for its own sake. Suffering, according to Scripture, marks the path to glory.
“But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:13, NIV
Then I knew. God had glory to reveal in my son’s life.
This pain would pass, and God would somehow bring good through it. It wasn’t what I would choose for him, but the God who created Him and wrote his story knew what I couldn’t. For whatever reason, my son needed to walk through this. His despair would not be in vain. Through it God would reveal Himself.
I sat in the stillness, pen in hand, and listened, inviting the God who speaks to do so again. Soon His quiet whisper stirred within me, and I found my hand moving once more across the page.
He is mine, beloved, just as you are mine. I AM greater than his pain . . . than your pain. You will soon see.
Tears fell in response, my heart hopeful. God always keeps His Word.
I thought of Abraham and how he must have felt as he placed his son, Isaac, upon that altar. I imagine he did it with trembling hands and a breaking heart. But place him there, he did. And Isaac received the blessing that came through his father’s promise.
God had spoken blessings over my son as well, and I had a choice to make. I could retreat into my anger and justify my sorrow. Or, I could trust God to keep His Word in my son’s life. I could fight to change things and try to manipulate his circumstances so I’d like the look of them better, or I could choose to believe the God who speaks and entrust my son to Him with open hands.
I decided I wouldn’t withhold him from the God who loves him even more than I do . . . and then it came. I experienced Jesus’ promise from John 14:27,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” ESV
The wonder of it always astounds me. I can’t explain the how of it. I simply revel in the miracle of it. But when I run toward Jesus in my confusion instead of from Him—and I listen—I find peace.
It happens the moment I resolve in my heart to believe.