I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pictures of God Amidst the Pain.

I have a confession, I used to have all these ideas about God, the pictures I painted of Him were beautiful. They were mighty, strong, He was probably carrying an American flag. He voted a certain way. He shared my beliefs regarding well...everything. He had a very good paying job. He had a savings account. He, though a male in my pictures, looked an awful lot like a mirror of myself.

How my pictures have fallen.

I'll spare you the story of the past three years of my life. A handful of those close to me know the big things. Even then...I'm quite sure nobody aside from God and my husband know everything of the true heartache and sorrow that has gripped my very soul over the past several years. To say I feel as if I've been alone in a desert is an extreme understatement. There are times I look around....at myself, my family, my loved ones...and I have wondered WHERE IS GOD??? Why are they suffering? Why are we suffering?

Ever been there?

If He is God....why won't He step in and do something? (I believe with my whole heart that even today...He does. And I also believe that often He calls His children to step in....and sometimes, they DO!! They BECOME His hands and feet. On the flipside, there are those times they/we choose to do nothing...which echoes out into the world around us.)

I've learned that my pictures of Him are severely wrong because of just that.....they are PICTURES. HE is more than just a picture. More than an idea. More than any doctrine. He is more than a political party. More than a denomination. More than any gender or race. More than age. More than time....more than space. Try as I may, I will never be able to describe Him in His "God-ness". I have learned THAT is the beauty of Him.

I have found comfort and hope in my own grief and suffering. Not in ignoring the pain-absolutely not! Only THROUGH the pain can I recognize my weakness. Through the grief I recognize my limits as a human being. Through the tears I see my neediness.

In my tears, I see Him. I know He is all around...even though the pain lingers.

My pictures are no longer "pictures".....

He is alive. He is here. He is here not only in the beautiful things....but He is here with the brokenhearted. I dare say He MAY be a bit closer to the ones who hurt.

My pictures are now speaking, living, loving...they are animated. And not only that, they are here...amidst the suffering.

"Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him." *Psalm 126:5-6*

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