When Jesus walked the earth he performed miracles. He fed the five thousand, walked on water, and calmed the sea when the disciples were afraid. His mother asked him to turn water into wine. Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave. He called fisherman to a higher calling than anyone would have ever anticipated. With just a touch of the corner of His robe, he healed a woman. Friends lowered down their disabled friend to Jesus through a hole in a roof. If Jesus can heal, then why doesn’t he heal Mark? Where is Mark’s healing?
I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to this question. I don’t know why. I know there are others worse off than us. I am a doer. I like to work with my hands. I enjoy making the world a better place to live. I love giving others wings to help them gain traction forward. I love the underdog, the extremely hurting. It’s important to me to ask how to help because the need isn’t always the same. Two different families may have someone with Lyme or another chronic illness or disability and their needs will be completely different. The path to healing will look different and the financial needs will look different. So, I have learned to ask.
I know God did not take Jesus off of the cross. I know that even though Jesus performed miracles, he was still crucified. There was no one to calm the waves for him on this day. There was no one to turn water into wine. Jesus had to walk the road, literally and figuratively, ahead of him. He had to do the hard work until it was finished. I know while he suffered on this horrible day, he still chose to be forgiving. He pleaded with the father, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” Let’s be honest, this would probably not be my response. It would only be my response because Jesus gave me the command to love. He demonstrated what it looks like to love in suffering.
I have attempted to read When God Doesn’t Fix It by Laura Story several times. I would get into one or two chapters and set the book down. A few weeks ago a good friend of mine gave me the book. I’m going, to be honest, I groaned. Because I knew I couldn’t just walk away this time. I mean I could, but I also know my friend and she is the treasured kind of friend that keeps pressing in. She presses because she knows God will move and change lives. She pressed because she loves me. These kinds of friends are gems.
I run myself emotionally and physically ragged. When I was a senior in high school I got mono. I was out of commission for six months. Especially when there is huge stuff going on in my life I don’t want to deal with. I was met with one such day. A day I knew I needed to spend in bed. I picked the book back up committed to finishing it.
I am reminded of the beauty of being broken in the middle of our struggles. We want to wait until we have entered through the end of the tunnel. You know the moment. You walk through a difficult time and you feel like you have won a medal. You can smile again, happiness returns and all of life is ok, or so it temporarily feels. Yet, in the middle of continued fighting with our spouses, a teenager dealing with depression, continued weekends working or if you finally have a Sunday off you want to sleep in, eat pancakes with your family, and just not be busy. In the middle of being broken or what I get frustrated about, the still broken place.
I hate going to church because I don’t want to look at the hopeful smiles of well-meaning beloved believers in Christ and say, “Nope, still broken.” Brokenness is often a deep, dark pit. And continued brokenness without instantaneous healing or a miracle is a hard pill to swallow.
It’s hard to swallow because I haven’t wanted to look at the reality of our life. I wanted to the miracle. I wanted full healing for Mark’s body. I wanted the pressure of our life to be taken off of my shoulders. I didn’t want to face this may be our life. This may be my life.
It’s humbling to be the mission field I long to be to the world. Yet, God, not myself, has brought me to a place of learning to surrender to His will. I am only ankle-deep in this place of surrender. God wants me to surrender from my toes to my head and beyond. Every day I find new areas to surrender.
While I was folding laundry at work I came to the realization that I had to let go of what I thought God’s provision should be or how it should happen. I was going to stop trying to orchestrate every single avenue of our life and trust them over to the Lord. However or whenever he provided I would trust God as he moved the pieces of our life around. It’s still humbling, sometimes humiliating (because I’m prideful and need to learn to surrender it).
I am learning about what it means to be a part of the body of believers. It means when I’m broken, to let others love me. To let them step in, continually step in to love our family. To receive. There is not a magic recipe of how much elbow grease to apply to life and how much is God’s to do. Yes, there is a place they go hand in hand. But, I have learned too much elbow grease winds me up in bed sick and tired, tired and sick.
I don’t know what my future holds. But, the one thing I know is I want to be a part of the sacred, holy place of brokenness. I want to wear a t-shirt that says Let’s be broken together. I want to be a place, a neon sign, a lighthouse to point others to Christ. To walk the painful road as they do. I can’t replace the doing someone else has to do, but I can listen, I can bring pizza, and whatever else God calls me to do.
Some of you are thinking Jesus doesn’t calm the storm for me. And I have to agree. Honestly, sometimes the storm gets worse. Sometimes it’s downright terrifying. I do know and can say with confidence it’s not about the size of the storm, it’s about the strength of our God.
I don’t know what you are walking through, but I’m praying for Jesus to reveal himself in a real and powerful way to you. I am praying you are encouraged to continue taking one baby step at a time. Because baby steps continue to take us closer to Jesus too. I love you, precious friend.
As an added note while full healing may never come for Mark this side of heaven. Our personal miracle for our family on this side of heaven is so far Mark is still able to work. If you need a website or someone to manage your site. Let me know I’ll hook you up. He does great work! Our miracle is he isn’t completely bedridden.