Painful situations are all around me. They are separate and different yet interestingly connected.
One touch of the remote can erase the devastation in Haiti from my conscious mind. It’s almost too much to take in as I sit in my comfortable family room in front of the fireplace. How the people cope with such destruction is beyond my ability to understand. Separated from loved ones, not knowing whether they are dead or alive, would be overwhelming. A lost boy crying for his mom; parents deliriously searching for missing children. Laughter ringing out in the middle of mourning. Miraculously someone is discovered alive who has been buried under the rubble for two weeks. Does it ease or add to the pain when someone else is recovered…and yours is not? I can’t even imagine how you cope with such loss. Does my little donation really make a difference? Can I pray long and hard enough to help bring comfort and solutions for Haiti? Only God can cause good to come from this…even though the news is filled with unbelievable pictures of hopelessness.
A young couple is called to the hospital to take home their adopted baby only to find the tables have turned. A young mom’s change of heart and mind sends them home with empty arms….again. How do they cope? How do they trust when disappointment erases all hope? How do they put one foot in front of the other to walk away from the child they’ve been preparing for? How do they go on when their hearts are breaking? I pray for their strength and thank God that He alone will work this all out for good some way…even though they can’t see how right now.
For two years I’ve watched a godly family in the process of adopting a child from Haiti. All they needed was a signature, but the pen never touched the paper. It seemed so simple. But authorities and institutions seemed like the Pharaoh of old who refused to let the people go. An earthquake brings more unanswered questions, fears, and frustrations. What the Bible says is true. Hope deferred makes the heart sick. How much sicker can you feel when you board an airplane thinking you’re about to retrieve your adoptive child only to find empty promises on the other end. We know that God goes before them and holds all things together…even though they face another major setback in the process.
How do you cope with the kind of loss and disappointment described above? For those who are hurting, all I could think of was what the Word of God says in Habakkuk,
“EVEN THOUGH there are no grapes on the vine or cattle in the stall or food in the fields, I will rejoice in the Lord.”
What does it mean to rejoice in times like this? In the original Hebrew, this word is interpreted as “jumping for joy in triumph.” What a challenge for the disheartened! Even though the pain around them is overwhelming, I pray that they will be able to declare Him Lord over their circumstances. That they would be able to say even though disappointed, devastated and nearly destroyed, I choose to trust and praise the God who controls it all, to jump for joy in my heart because God is at work in my circumstances. Now that’s trust! I pray I will be able to do the same in my own painful circumstances.
The prophet was able to declare his joy while facing his own personal devastation,
“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, the Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery and my invincible army.
He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk, not to stand still in terror, but to walk and make spiritual progress
upon my high placesof trouble, suffering or responsibility.”
In our even though situations of life, can we do the same? Can we rejoice in the Lord? Can we declare Him to be our Personal Bravery and Invincible Army? The Bible tells us it’s possible to walk on high places of trouble and suffering and responsibility with the feet of a deer. Surefooted. Balanced. Ankles not turning. On the Rock. It’s possible when we first choose to “jump for joy in triumph“ in the even thoughs of life.