|gushing out of you...|
When I was a little girl, my favorite aunt came to visit from New York. There just wasn't much of anything that happened in my family that surpassed the excitement of a visit from my Aunt Helen. I could tell you a lot about her, but, one of the things I remember most about her visits was the time my mom and dad took her "downtown" to see what they considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world, right there in our own home town of Chicago! After all, she lived in New York, and don't you know we were always trying to "one up" New York!
As I remember it, we all piled into our old jalopy to drive downtown to see Buckingham Palace - I mean Buckingham Fountain! I was quite young though, and I was sure we were going to see Buckingham Palace - right there in our very own Chicago! Surely, New York didn't have anything that even came close to that! Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was just a water fountain! Granted it was a rather spectacular water fountain, but, it was "just" a water fountain. Water was squirting out miles high from many different portals, all bathed in multi-colored lights that made it even more lovely to watch. I sat in silence trying in my little girl head to figure out how that water was squirting everywhere from some mysterious place within. How does one make water flow like that? What's the secret?!
That is one of the pictures I have when I think of what Jesus promised us in the scripture quoted above. That is quite a promise. If you have ever had the experience of running or hiking a long distance without readily available water, you know that feeling of being desperate for a drink. Our bodies are made to be hydrated. We can't go for long without the simple, God given gift of water. I remember hiking a long distance, running out of water. By the time I got home to refresh my body, I was physically shaking all over, becoming disoriented and almost too weak to turn the faucet to get the liquid that, to me, was now more precious than gold.
The truth is, I have often been dry and desperately thirsty. Grieving a loss of someone or something I love with all my heart, leaves me parched, weak, trembling and disoriented. I struggle to know who I am in God's world. Does He still care for me? If He does, why is He doing this to me? Doesn't He know how devastated I am by this loss? Doesn't He know, I am lost without my loved one or the dream I have clung to for so long? What is He doing to me? Why is He doing it? Does He see me? Does He see my broken heart? Does He see I am D E V A S T A T E D?
This is grief pouring out of our hearts. We are confused by it, disoriented by it, devastated by it, angry about our loss, struggling to pick up the pieces to even want to go on. I believe it is important to pour out our hearts before God - tell Him everything we are feeling - He can handle it because He does so love us, He wants us to come to Him, not just with our highs, but when we are at the bottom of the pit, also. He will meet us there.
The link I am including in this post is a short story of a young couple who went through the tragedy of losing their beautiful four year old daughter in a car accident - every parent's worst nightmare. The dad is a pastor. It's so important to realize that, just because a man or a woman is following Christ, even in pastoral ministry, they are not exempt from the suffering of the rest of the human race. This man tells his story honestly - his rage at God for taking his baby. His wife tells her story of the pain she went through - in a different way, but, just as real. We grieve differently, don't we? And that is okay with God...
The story of their pain and their loss ends with the promise that He will make streams of Living Water flow out of us from within - He will turn our mourning into dancing - He will restore to us everything the enemy has stolen... In my own struggle with grief, that is not something I ever wanted to hear, and didn't always believe. But, I offer this to you who are grieving whatever you have lost, because I have learned that He makes good on His promises. They are not frivolous, empty words. They are the promises of our Good and Faithful God.
Tuck this promise of God in a corner of your heart and let Him work it down deep within your spirit. Watch and see, He will make springs of living water flow out of that very same heart that is broken right now. You are in my prayers, always. May God, our loving and gracious Father, heal you through and through...