Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blessings in Disguise

The night.  It is dark.  Little noises seem to be amplified throughout the house. For those who find themselves alone, it is the worst time.  Daytime can be difficult, but there is something different about the night.  It seems to make them more aware that they are alone.  The loneliness is so real, you can almost touch it.  They cry out to God.

She sits at the kitchen table with her calculator and the stack of bills.  Her paycheck just came in, and it is already gone.  The trouble is, which bills to pay?  She has 3 final notices in front of her, and children asking her, "What's for dinner, Mama?"  She lays her pen down and puts her head in her hands.  She silently weeps a prayer to the Lord.

They sit in different rooms in their home.  Both of them forsee the same thing, but they have stopped talking to each other.  What is the point?  It's the same old arguments, over and over.  When they married 15 years ago, they believed that God had brought them together.  They must have been mistaken.  They just don't 'feel' it anymore.  They simultaneously put down their remote and their book.  They bow their heads and pray.

They all wonder, "Does God hear them? "  "Why would a God who was so loving, allow them to go through this agony?"  "Doesn't He care?"  They thought He loved them.  They wonder what they did to make Him so mad at them, that He would not be there when they needed Him the most.  Perhaps, they wonder if it is their fault.  Maybe, they just aren't good enough.

They are mistaken.  God IS there.  It's just hard to see Him through their tears.

For an example, let's peek into the life of a young girl in trouble.  In her early teen's and pregnant.  She's afraid to tell her parents.  They are very religious, and the news would break their hearts.  In fact, her whole community is very devoted...there's no one she can share her secret with.  She, herself tried to be faithful, following Yahweh's decrees as best she could.  This pregnancy was not in her plans.  Now what?  The reality had begun to set in.  What was she thinking when she agreed to the angel's declaration? She, young Mary, was to be the mother of the Son of the Most High.  It's been three months since the angel's visit...people would begin to notice soon.  She had heard nothing else from the angel.  She looked for signs of him every day.  She feared for her life when Joseph, her fiancee' found out.  He could order her to be killed, for adultery.  Late at night, Mary laid in her bed and wondered.  What was He thinking?  Where was God when she needed Him?  She felt so alone.  The tears silently fell.

Fast forward thirty four years.  Mary is now sitting in the rain with more tears flowing down her cheeks.  In her arms lay her son, Jesus.  She had watched them hang him as if he were a criminal.  They crucified Him next to two thieves.  Yet, He didn't look like the other two men.  They had beaten Him so badly, you couldn't even recognize Him.  But she knew who He was.  She would know Him anywhere.  He was part of her.  He was now laying in her lap, like he did when he was a baby...but now He was dead.  How could God let this happen?  Why?  What was He thinking?  Jesus didn't do anything at all to deserve this...He had never even sinned once in His life.  He got that from His Father.  But what good plan could Yahweh POSSIBLY have to justify THIS?  Where was God when she needed Him?  She held her dead child close and wailed.

Was God there?  Yes, He was.  Did He know what He was doing?  Yes, He did.  Did He hear Mary's cries?  Yes, He did.  God was getting ready to reveal His Plan.

Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, opening up the doors of heaven to all who repent and accept Him.  Through Him, God's Plan was revealed.  When Mary saw Him again, she finally understood. There was an explanation for the dark and lonely nights.  There was a reason for the tears.  There was a purpose for the pain. 

Although we cannot always feel the presence of God, He is there.  He hears our cries.  He listens to our prayers.  He has a plan.  Meanwhile, while we wait for the time for Him to reveal it,  He is there.  He is waiting in the dark of the night for us to lean on Him as He dries our tears.

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