God choreographed different parts of my quiet time into a beautiful song of comfort. A song that reminded me that although I suffer, Christ went there first; that God prizes the brokenness I am experiencing.
I looked at two passages in connection with the story of a woman crippled for 18 years.
Start with Psalm 51:17: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. It resonated with the meditation that said our tears of grief are a gift to others. My broken, grieving heart is a pleasing sacrifice to God. Take it, take me, oh Lord, and let it be useful to You.
Add Isaiah 53:10: Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer. (italics mine) A tiny glimpse into the “why me?” God willed to crush His own perfect Son, one who had never done anything wrong. When I suffer, when I feel crushed into dust, I am only following in the footsteps of my Savior. No wonder James says “count it all joy.”
Top those two verses with the next hymn up, Tell Me a Story of Jesus. The third verse says in part: Tell of the years of His labor, Tell of the sorrow He bore, He was despised and afflicted, homeless, rejected and poor.
The words are a paraphrase of Isaiah 53. Jesus knew sorrow, affliction, homelessness, poverty. Again, in my sorrow, in my affliction, I follow in His steps.
If I want to be like Christ—that must include the valley of shadows where the darkness tries to crush all light out of me.
Oh, and for you writers out there, I was already considering a story about a homeless woman. Hmm. I’m not sure how to develop a light-hearted Christmas story about a homeless woman but I think I’m headed in the right direction.
One last thought: Mom is going to her 55th college reunion this weekend, flying crosscountry to Hartford. Please pray for her, for her safety and her health; and for me, in my alone time.