June 3, 2020
Seeing God Through Puncture Wounds of Life
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV)
Friend to Friend
I sat on the floor playing a card game with my young son. It was shaping up to be one of the best summers ever. Steven was savoring every minute of the long hot days, our Golden Retriever, Ginger, had delivered seven adorable puppies, and after years of negative pregnancy tests and doctor visits, I had a new life growing in my womb.
In the middle of enjoying the moment with Steven, I felt a warm, sticky sensation that made my world stand still. A trip to the bathroom confirmed my greatest fear.
Later that day, as I sat in the doctor’s office listening to his condolences for the loss of this much-prayed-for child, all I could think of was God, how could You?
I drove home. Climbed into bed. Pulled the covers over my empty womb and my empty heart and cried. I was mad at God. If this is how You love me, then forget it. I gave God the silent treatment as if I could somehow pay Him back.
God and I had a lover’s quarrel that summer. Actually, I was the only one arguing. I felt betrayed by the One who was supposed to love me most. Even though I was mad at God, I knew in the deepest parts of me, that He did love me and that He was somehow going to use all this pain for good—but I sure didn’t like it.
I wonder, could the puncture wounds in the canvas of life—the losses, the disappointments, the crushing blows—actually become the rent places of the soul through which we can see God? Through which we can peer beyond our earthly trappings into glory moments where God makes His presence known? I believe they could be. If we let them.
When we experience shattered dreams, broken relationships, tragic losses, or unfulfilled longings, it can be difficult to feel God’s presence, to see His hand, and to hear His voice. Glory moments cease when we close our eyes in pain and tune out God in anger. I know that’s what happened to me.
That doesn’t mean that God isn’t there. It only means that the sadness in our own hearts has drawn the shades and locked the doors. We question whether we even want to live in union with God if this is where the path leads. We tend to wriggle out of His arms like an angry child or slip out of His embrace like a disgruntled lover, all the while hoping He will pull us back in and tell us that we have simply misunderstood.
Men and women throughout the Bible voiced their disappointment when God didn’t act as they had hoped. David cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1). Habakkuk cried out: “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” (Habakkuk1:2). Even Jesus, when he hung on the cross, did not call out the comforting words of the 23rd Psalm, but the agonizing words of the 22nd.
And while we complain of God’s silence or seeming indifference during difficult times, He is always there working behind the scenes in ways we may never understand.
Three months after the loss of my second child, I broke my silence with God and prayed a prayer similar to Elisha’s. “Oh God, please open my eyes to see Your glory in this situation. If I could just see her. Please Lord, give me a glimpse.”
And then God pulled back the curtain in my mind and I envisioned this child, healthy and whole and playing at the feet of Jesus. She was surrounded by God’s glory face-to-face. Radiant resplendent glory. Not an ounce of glory ache to be seen.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen (our circumstances), but on what is unseen (God’s presence). For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18, parentheses mine). One day, it will all make sense. Until then…we trust. And when we have the faith to keep our eyes open during the dark times, God will scatter moments of sudden glory where we sense His presence like stars in the inky sky. We hold fast and continue following Jesus—even when we aren’t sure where that may lead.
Lord, I’ll be honest, sometimes I don’t really like how my life is playing out. But this I do know, You are in control and Your ways are always good. Help me to not close my eyes and miss seeing the glory moments in the difficulties of life. I know that diamonds show up best on black velvet. Help me to see Your glory on the background of dark circumstances.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Open your Bible and read 2 Kings 6:8-22 (especially vs.17) What was going on in the spiritual realm that Elijah’s servant didn’t see initially?
What does that tell you about what is going on all around you and in your life?
More From the Girlfriends
Do you long to experience God’s presence in your everyday life? Here’s some good news. He longs to speak to you even more. The question is, how do we hear Him? If you want to experience more glory moments…moments when God makes His presence known, check out my book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Response to Your Ache for Something More.
And did you know I have an app for Praying Wives on android and apple devices? Check it out!