It was just a few minutes before bedtime but the children were clamoring for a movie. So Mama popped in a vhs of short stories, intending to allow them to view one of these stories. The children knew they would not be able to watch all of them, but the littlest did not understand all of this.
When the chosen segment had concluded the biggest brother jumped up and turned off the tv, doing his part to get ready for bed.
And littlest burst into tears and went boneless. Her brothers busied themselves with getting themselves into bed, but she would not hear of it.
And all at once, I understood. Her reaction, yes; but my grief, a bit, maybe?
It’s as if my Father has told me that I cannot watch the movie right now. And I, not understanding His graciousness of allowing me to watch only one trimester, fuss and cry and carry on.
Indeed, I tried to hold and comfort and console my little one but she would not have any of it. So focused on the movie she didn’t get to see, she wouldn’t come to me for love, didn’t hear me telling her I love you, but no more movie–it is time for bed.
After she had calmed and gone to bed, I read a blog of a woman who understands life-turned-upside-down grief. Cancer, ugly and serious, discovered before her son was born.
Tonight, she wrote:
I guess the picture is that our opponents are always larger than we can handle. I’m sure that’s how our enemy the devil likes to play it, make our battle big enough to totally overwhelm us. I guess in some ways he’s as silly as Kate, not seeing the obvious outcome to getting out of bed when Mommy is sitting in the corner. Doesn’t he see how Almighty God uses his strategy against him? If we are just wise enough to see that we can’t fight it and run for refuge… we have such promises… assurance that these trials will strengthen and refine us. The very thing sent to destroy us is used for our blessing. Like Jacob wrestling the angel, blessed by his attacker.
I mentioned running for refuge, and I’m learning a new lesson… that sometimes there is no refuge in sight. It never shows up. The battle comes, and goes, and it seems that the reinforcements were never sent. I guess that’s where Nathaniel and I have been the last while. I think before cancer I glibly thought that there was always a hero’s rescue before things got too dark. Now I firmly believe that there are things that cannot be reconciled this side of heaven. It doesn’t make God less the hero, it just reaffirms what I always knew, that His ways are not mine, but I WOULD choose them if I could see from His perspective.
“There are things that cannot be reconciled this side of heaven.” Sends shivers up my spine. This is not a wealth and prosperity gospel teaching. This is a deep-in-the-trenches-of-terror understanding.
I don’t understand why our gracious LORD only allowed us to have only 16 weeks with our son, but I can trust that His reason was good and for our benefit and blessing.