Sitting at the table, alone and shut up in anguish, far beyond the reach that this world’s therapy can supply, where all idols fade, when everything hurts, and nothing helps, with heart wrought, God is sought.
That situation of sitting at the table, searching the Scriptures, journalling, bawling, praying, all alone, was such a common experience, I hardly thought of being ‘met’ by God as a comfort. The fact was He was present in a way I’d never previously experienced or imagined. And still His Presence made my reality not one iota more comfortable.
I languished in the pain of my circumstance — the outworking of a failed marriage, where I’d been thrown on the relational scrapheap. Nothing could assuage that pain, nothing said, nothing done, no escape, no activity, no fellowship, no flight of fancy, nor any drug on the face of the earth.
To insist upon help would have been utter futility. Such as it is in grief.
God’s design is that all trust in idols cease, because — and this is grief’s best blessing — we see they have no power. Finally, when all is stripped away, when there is nothing left in us to fight, nor even hope, what vestige of hope we have left must, simply must, cling to what God can do for us. Finally, the truth is seen in all its terrible brilliance. Nothing can help. Yet, then, help can begin.
Stripped bare, and to come into the realisation that all is forlorn, this is God’s destiny of blessing. We must come to an end of ourselves before there can be a vitalising beginning.
Out of the worst hell on earth comes the heaven long promised from ages old, yet it is never what we expect.
But we must go there… traversing such hell as if God were there, because He is. It is such a wisdom that we must experience the pain of feeling utterly alone and abandoned by God to realise that we’re never abandoned by God. Quite the contrary…
Only in the vacuousness of feeling abandoned by God are we compelled to search by a faith that refuses to believe He could abandon us. Then and only then do we face the true God who never abandons anyone.