I was feeding my mom a meal the other day and I asked her, “Mama, are you happy?”
She turned her head to face me and looked me directly in the eyes and then abruptly and very loudly shouted, “NO-OOO!”
I couldn’t help laughing in the moment, at her bold, startling reaction. But now I feel like shouting the same thing. Though we’ve had some sweet blessings lately, it has been a very stressful time. And we don’t see anything changing for the better soon. In fact we mostly see dark clouds that hint at worse things to come.
And if anyone asked me right now if I was happy, and if I answered them frankly, I would want to shout with Mama, “NO-OOO!”
No, I’m not happy. This is such a hard time. I feel like life is heavy right now, and news from many directions is depressing. I know I have so much to be grateful for, but life is changing, and more sacrifices are required. And I’m so tired.
I know I have more help than so many people. And I feel guilty complaining. And I wonder where my faith is. And I ask God what He is teaching me.
I open up my Bible and read…
I pour our my complaint before Him; I declare Him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path. (Psalm 142:2-3, NKJV)
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. (Psalm 147:3-5, NKJV)
The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy. (Psalm 147:11, NKJV)
And I find comfort. Because I have a Lord I can pour out my complaints and troubles to. He knows when I’m overwhelmed. He knows the paths I’m on and the ones to come, and He will be there with me. Guiding me. Guiding us.
We have a Lord that is compassionate and heals the brokenhearted. A God so mighty that He knows the name of each star He created, and the name of each wounded servant of His on earth. And He binds our wounds.
And as we look to Him with trust and hope, He is pleased that we are depending on Him. He is pleased when we hope in Him for mercy and grace for each day. He is pleased when we realize we can not get through this on our own, but have faith that He is with us and that He will preserve us and keep us and sustain us.
And someday when this hard time is over, because we know this too shall pass, we will be stronger for having lived through it. And we can declare His truth and love with greater boldness for having been held up by it in the storms.
Earlier today my daughter showed me a video she had made of Mama some time back. She asked Mom, “Are you happy?”
And with a very grouchy voice and tone, Mom had shouted, “Yes, I’m happy!”
Annie asked again, “Grandma, are you happy?”
And with a slightly less grim tone Mama shouted, “I’m happy…all the day!”
I can’t honestly say that I’m happy all the day. This is a tough time of life. But I KNOW that Jesus is with me all the day. And I know that He won’t leave me. And I know that He will give grace and mercy enough for each moment as I hope in Him.