Hard Pressed

We’d been hit. I watched as the color drained from my husband’s face (and for him with his ruddy complexion… this was definitely worth noticing.)

Nothing could have prepared us for the bomb that dropped on us that day. (Okay, not a literal bomb… it was completely figurative… but it might have well as been a real bomb.) We literally could not speak after our visitors left our home. Our boys continued to play for a few minutes and we discussed what was for dinner.

I was not hungry.

My wonderful husband, who holds me up, comforts me in my pain, and puts up with my hormonal blunders jumped up and threw a pizza in the oven to reheat it.

The Bomb

We had seen the signs of the bomb… but we had ignored it.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Bombs (like what I’m talking of) come with red flags and warnings written on them. But we choose to trust (and I mean- really…. who can trust a bomb that’s ready to explode???  Evidently, we thought we could.)

My thought that ran over and over in my mind was this… “Why do I want to love others?” Oh yeah. Because Jesus told me too.

I had listened to my husband, just that same morning, preach on Jesus and his last (new) command to his disciples before his death.

“Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples- when they see the love you have for each other.” (John 13:34-35)

And yet at that moment, I was not wanting to love these people who had just hurt us.  I wanted to scream.  Throw things at the wall.  Grab a shovel, dig a hole, jump in and fall asleep forever in it.  “I am not cut out for this,” was the thought that was running and screaming through my mind.

He Was Waiting

I sat and processed… through the ritual of eating the reheated pizza at dinner, where my boys gabbered like nothing was different.  I processed as I picked up my Macbook and began to type out my emotions, mostly my anger and hurt.  I ran the situation over and over in my head.  And then…

I stopped.  I felt God waiting for me.  Waiting for me to turn to him with all of it.  Waiting for me to run to Him and ask Him questions that included, “Why this?  Why now?  Why?????”  In that moment, I became like a child again.  I gave it all.

He told me that He had allowed us to endure this pain, because something BETTER was coming.  This pain was a good thing.  We were being pruned.  And it hurt terribly.  I hated watching my husband stomach so much pain and hurt.  I wanted to take it all from him.  But knowing that God was in control of the church plant, comforted me.

He Was Betrayed

In that same week, in my BSF class, we discussed the relationship between Jesus and Judas Iscariot.  Judas followed Jesus and pledged himself to Him.  But when Jesus didn’t establish the Kingdom that Judas wanted, he sold Jesus out.  Literally.  Through this time of hurt, I gained some comfort by this.  Jesus was betrayed by one of his “best friends.”  And Judas wasn’t the only one who betrayed Jesus.  Peter did.  THREE TIMES.  Not to mention that all of his disciples, his trusted and loved 12, deserted him when it mattered the most.  John was the only one who stood with Jesus’ mother Mary at the crucifixion.  One.  Out of 12.  And when Jesus returned, alive…. he found them cowering in a locked room.

Jesus knows how we feel when we are betrayed by those we love.  He experienced it more so… since he paid for Judas’ betrayal with his life.

Being sold out by one’s friend to the point of death.  Ouch.  When I look at it that way, our situation doesn’t look as dire.  We are hurt.  But not killed.  It reminds me of the verse in 2 Corinthians 4:7-9,

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned;struck down, but not destroyed.”

Healing

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I still hurt.  The wound is still healing.  I don’t know if it will ever go back to normal for us with those that have hurt us so.  But I do know this.  God has it.  All of it.

2 Corinthians goes on to say later in chapter 4, verses 16-18,

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Looking back now, I realize that we were at a place in our plant, where we needed that bomb to go off.  We needed to be pruned in order to grow.  And we did.

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