In my quiet time with the Lord this morning I suddenly felt incredibly tired, and unbearably sad. The dispassionate analyst in me looked on and wondered why. I concluded there were many possibilities–sad for my country, sad for the world at large, sad for my people. I knew there were many reasons to grieve in this moment in time. But this sadness was deeper, wider and more profound than anything as fleeting as the regret over the demise of a nation, the world or a finite people. Eras, countries, cultures rise and fall, come and go. A thousand years is but one day...
In my introspection I paused to consider that perhaps I was just indulging in a bit of personal self pity. There are all sorts of reasons I could go there, if I were made of different stuff. But I am not. Many times I’ve earnestly tried but I simply cannot feel sorry for myself, at least not for long. If I ever dare to try, in very short order I hear the still small practical voice, “Oh puleezzzz! Get over it!” And then, resoundingly ashamed, I move on.
But moving on didn’t explain the source of the grief this morning. So, in a bold move, I asked God, “Will You tell me why I am so so sad?” And the answer came, not like a brilliant revelation but more a resolute sigh.
It wasn’t my sadness I was feeling–it was His.
Overcome by this realization, all I could think to do was imagine myself in a garden quietly sitting next to God, making a lame human attempt to comfort Him, pledging to stay with Him no matter who else deserts Him. I promised, even though I am nothing and no one, that I would stay with and for Him, for what that offer was worth.
Like a bewildered child, I really didn’t know what to say so instead, I sat with Him in a sorrowful hush where that which is unsaid speaks so much more than words ever could express.
Then, that pesky analyst in me started counting all the reasons He could be sad. I am not presumptuous enough to claim to know how to read God’s mind but I know He created us in His image, mysterious triune beings comprised of Body, Soul and Spirit and I certainly can relate to how it feels to be rejected, ignored and rebuked. I know how I feel when I encourage and reach out to help someone else and that someone does not see the blessing as an opportunity coming from God, so there is no compulsion to take the blessing [talent] and multiply it. I found myself burdened with empathy for how it must feel to be weighted down by a zillion wasted blessings given over the course of eons.
I also know how it feels to be invisible and irrelevant. I know how it feels to offer a truth and watch as the message is dismissed or distorted and bent to fit someone else’s agenda. I’ve been used, more than once, to further another’s self-serving purpose. I know what it feels like to speak and not be heard. I have suffered the disappointment of disingenuous words spoken that failed in the doing. The list is never ending and I can say that I understand, at least in small part, why God ought to be sad with one exception–I have never had to sacrifice my child so that the sinful, ungrateful, self-idolizing reprobated world might not perish. I can’t even begin to know what that feels like and I very much doubt that I could even survive it if I could know.
All I can do is say, in as many ways as I am able, to anyone who might have an ear to listen and understand, it seems to me that God is in the final stages of His grief. What does this mean to us? The Scripture asks, if He be for us, who can be against us?
Personally, I think it is well past time to ask, who is for Him?
(Romans 8:28) And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, [even] to them that are called according to [his] purpose. (8:29) For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren: (8:30) and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (8:31) What then shall we say to these things? If God [is] for us, who [is] against us? (8:32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?