Lifting my voice heavenward, I whispered a plea that emitted from the depths of my ragged soul.
My words, barely more than a whisper, were spoken with the surrender that comes at the end of a long, hard battle. My beloved mother was walking her final mile. For four years she had fought Stage IV Metastatic Malignant Melanoma. Now it appeared the cancer had won.
Tears coursing down my cheeks I pled, “God of my life, grant me a song in my night. Please, sing to me, Lord. I’m listening!”
And, He began to sing. I listened carefully hoping that the lyrics of His song would be filled with the promise of a tomorrow filled with only hope and joy. I listened for assurance that He would miraculously heal my mother this side of heaven. I waited to hear Him sing that my quota of sorrow had been filled, and I would never feel pain again.
But what’s this? The words He sang were not at all what I had hoped to hear. This cannot be! He’s singing the wrong song. No, I don’t want to hear these words. I struggled, longing to close my ears, to run from the words of His song. The storm raged inside my heart, and then He spoke with calm authority.
“Peace! Be still!” The tempest ceased, and a sweet peace settled over me. I laid my weary head once more upon His breast, and as I did, the realization came that the melody He sang kept perfect cadence with the beating of His heart. I felt comforted and soothed as His words washed over me with the healing balm of hope.
“This hour means something to me, too, my child,” He sang. “I know you want to walk, I know you want to run, but little one, this is one of those times when you need to let me carry you. And, I will if you will let me. I will carry you.”
“But, I feel so alone, Father.”
Brushing the hair from my face, He sang, “I love you, and my tears were the first to fall when you learned of your mother’s cancer. I have never left you, I have never forsaken you.”
I wept then, great sobs shaking my body.
It hurts so much, dear Father; it…hurts…so…much. My spirit is wounded, and I cannot bear it.
And, He sang, “I am the refiner, purifying your soul as the finest of silver and gold. Let me do my work, dear child, and you will be to me an offering of righteousness. I’ll take your ashes and from them I will bring great beauty. I’ll change your sorrow into joy. I’ll clothe you with a garment of praise, instead of a spirit of despair. And, when I’ve done my work, you will be a planting for me, that I might be glorified.”
I’m so scared, Father. I can’t do this. I don’t think I’m going to make it.
Gently, the words of His song, strong and tender, wrapped softly around her heart, “Don’t be afraid. I am here. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
I can’t see the path – I don’t know which way to go.
Nothing is the same. I don’t think life will ever be normal again.
“I’ll give you a new normal, my child. I have a plan. Won’t you let me redeem this sorrow in your life? Will you let me bring good out of the great pain you have borne?”
I tried to pull from the security of His arms, shouting, Bring good out of my pain? If you are so loving, why did you let this happen in the first place? I struggled, hoping all the while that He would not let…me…go.
Tenderly He pulled me back into the safety of His embrace, and He sang, “Suffering is part of the human experience. Because I am loving, I will bring good out of your sorrow. I am not the author of everything that happens in this world, but I am the Master. If you will allow me, I will touch you deeper than your deepest hurts.”
“It’s dark, and I am so afraid.”
“I know the storm is raging and the night is black, but I’m in the darkness – it is light to me. I will command my loving kindness in the daytime, and in the night my song shall be with you”
“I want to trust. I want to believe. But, God, I don’t understand.”
“I know you don’t. My grace will support you even when you cannot understand it. You think it’s all over, but I’ve just begun. When you’re through this dark night, you will be able to serve me in ways you never imagined before this trial of your faith. Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory. You may not understand my ways but, look at me; can you see my love for you, written in the tears on my face?”
“Oh, Jesus help me!”
And, He did. His song became my own.