I changed my laptop wallpaper to this the day I heard my friend’s aunt had died.
To me, it’s a message, a reminder.
It’s dark in the picture. Sad. Heavy. Hurting.
She’s holding her hands out, pleading, waiting, hoping.
But there is light.
And there is surrender in her cupped hands, releasing control and ready to receive what God pours out. There’s worship too.
The cross on her finger is a reminder of the hope we can have but also of the suffering we must endure.
That’s the picture I want of myself.
Open hands. Open heart. Offering up the sacrifice of praise.
Funny how life–or, more accurately, God–works. I write about the sacrifice of praise on Monday, and on Thursday comes the news of death and more sorrow. Hello, sacrifice of praise.
I told someone that I’m clinging to the image that God’s making dappled sunshine. You know, those lovely patterns of sunshine and shadows? That wouldn’t be possible without the shadows. So I remind myself, “dappled sunshine.”
Isn’t it funny how heaviness and hope, sadness and gratefulness–they go hand in hand? I thought hope was a high, but now I know it’s a rope that blisters your hands even as it hauls you forward. The paradox of the Lord’s way is that joy and sorrow are not mutually exclusive. They feed each other, and both draw you forward into the Lord, if you let them. What strange goodness He is!Hannah Hodgson, @resurrectionpoetry on Instagram, from story
Even the heaviness, sadness, pain, heartache, tears, etc. can draw you closer to God. When we hurt, we try to relieve it, fix it, find comfort. And Jesus is the Great Physician and Comforter. He is where we find relief, find rest.
It’s already been a long, hard year. And just when I think I’m almost healed, more wounds are inflicted and old ones reopen.
But I’m growing. I’m drawing nearer. I’m learning so, so many lessons–learning to hope, to surrender, to rest, to wait, to praise. . . (And those are just the big ones I’ve written about here!)
So I’ll continue to hold out my open hands in the dark, pleading, surrendering, praising. He still is.