My husband and I had just returned from visiting my Mom’s gravesite, and my heart felt heavy with loss. My eyes were focused on the gravel path, which crunched beneath our feet as we briskly moved along it.
Suddenly, on bright red, wide-spread wings, a Cardinal swooped across in front of us and landed in a tree shadowed by the rays of the sun. In the wake of his flight, a sweet scent wafted up to my senses. It smelled of green and forest and earth and I slowly realized it was the smell of fresh-cut grass from the side of the path. The sweet smell filled my soul with a sense of joy and life. I lifted my eyes to the beauty of the nature around me, and I thought of how much my Mom would have loved to be walking alongside us enjoying it.
Life cuts. It is full of losses, heartaches, struggles, failures, and disappointments. Each time we feel the pain of those cuts, our natural reaction is to draw further and further back behind the walls we erect to protect ourselves. Licking our wounds we wonder where is God in all of it? We ask ourselves why He allows us to go through such suffering if He loves us and then we begin to doubt.
We can only bear these cuts by clinging to our Lord, believing the truth of His Word that tells us of His goodness and resting in His promises in the midst of them. It is only then that the Holy Spirit can waft the sweet scent of the grace of God into our lives. As He does, we eventually soar on His wings to a new understanding of His love for us and a strengthening of our faith.
You see, He never leaves us to bear these trials alone.
This morning in my daily devotions, I read this;
This verse is very similar to Isaiah 58:11, engraved on my Mom’s headstone. Coincidence? I think not! I believe these words were given to me as a soothing balm from my Lord to my soul. They are a reminder that their is hope for those who walk in faith.
Then this morning, my scripture reading “just happened” to be John 11 where it tells of the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead by the power of Christ.
Our God is not a distant God who rules from heaven and cares not for those below. He is a relational God who sent His Only Son to live amongst us, so that we would know He understands our pain. God loves us so much He allowed this very same Son to die a brutal death so that we could enter into a personal relationship with Him. He and His Son suffered the anguish of separation for the first time in all eternity so we could be restored to Him again!
But like that fresh cut grass, without the pain caused by trials, the sweet smell of Christ’s love and grace can’t be experienced in our own souls and we are then unable to share it with those around us who are also struggling.
So if you are hurting, it doesn’t mean God has deserted you or that He doesn’t love you. It means He is refining you so that you can soar and bring a fresh scent of His grace to a dying world.