My life is a little crazy, and a lot of the time I feel like don’t know what I’m doing, and occasionally I fall apart in the worst moments. But sometimes something wonderful comes from the stretching if I am open to something new.
The other night after her last bottle, we read rhyming stories about prophet Jeremiah and God’s special spy, Caleb, to try to wind down and trick ourselves into sleep mode. We tried to read the “rainbow book” (The story of Noah’s ark and the flood) but as usual, she firmly insisted that we skip the words and only look at the pictures with rainbows on them.
“Raymo! Raymo!” she exclaimed over and over. I told her that a rainbow is a sign of God’s promise, and even though we skipped most of the story, it was a good word.
When I was putting her to sleep, I felt the sleep fighting hysteria rising, so I started singing silly songs she didn’t recognize to distract her. I knew singing anything she associated with bedtime would upset her, so when I forgot words, I started making up tunes.
She starting drifting off, and I knew she would be asleep in minutes if I kept it up. My brain starting going blank, at a loss for anything to make up a song about.
Words started coming, and soon I was singing spontaneous worship to Jesus. Weirdly, words rhymed and melodies flowed, as my heart unloaded all the affection I had in the moment. Suddenly there were tears, and I felt so overwhelmed with the presence and goodness of God with the heaviness of my daughter in my arms.
She was asleep, and my song faded. I was quiet and a little surprised at what had just happened.
I thought to myself. That was such an intimate moment I needed to have. I never would have gone there if there hadn’t been a need.
In the beginning, connection was all Adam and Eve knew, but now, being saturated in brokenness, we developed connection amnesia and forget what it’s like and how desperately alone and futile our “full” and noisy lives are without The Garden inside. How can we forget we are restored and alive to the Spirit? Need breaks my spiritual amnesia.
No one is immune from struggle. And honestly, sometimes the deepest treasures are found beneath the deepest pain. I don’t want to relive pain or wish it on anyone, but I don’t regret the incredible strength and wisdom that can come from it. It has everything to do with how we handle it.
Need drives me to the only Solution, the only Comforter, the only Rock. In fact, I really screw up my life when I forget I have need of something greater than me. So not in a resigned sort of way, but in a redeemed awareness, I don’t regret weakness. He is there. He has overcome, and I can rise with his victory.
I’m not crazy enough to think that God purposely puts harm in our way to teach us things. (Bad theology alert) But I am crazy enough to believe that His goodness is so intense that he redeems even the worst things to draw us back to what we need: Connection.
Let your pain and struggle take you deeper.