Yesterday Esther begged me to give her a bath, so I did. She’s really cute. And besides, she did need one.
Before we got started, I explained to her about the water going in her eyes, and how she needed to look up, because then the water would go down her back.
She got a little worried and started talking about, “Water! Eyes!” And I said, “Yes, if you look DOWN it goes in your eyes.” And she was like, “Oh.”
The bath commenced, and before I started rinsing her hair, I talked it through. This time, you’re going to look up, and the water will go down!
And–she actually looked up, and the water actually didn’t go in her eyes!
Not just once, but at least six times. No water in eyes, no wailing.
I clap and cheer and we smile.
And I smile inside, too, because I am finally starting to learn to look up again.
Oh, there are still waves, still trials, and I still notice them, still look down sometimes, still get a little scared. But mostly I am looking up at Him, believing that He knows, He is good, and He is working all things together for good. ALL things.
When the feelings start coming and they contradict what He is and what He says, I am learning to calmly say, “Look here. That is not true. God IS good. He DOES know what He is doing. He IS working this out for good. He IS a shelter for those who trust in Him. He DOES accept me. He WILL use this for His glory and my good.”
Faith is our shield. That calm, determined trust in God and His promises makes those attacks drop right down–or, they prevent them from getting deep inside, so they only wound us superficially.
The trials won’t leave. But the devastating part of them will, the part where you crumble and there’s nothing solid left.
And even when you’re there–when everything’s crashing down and nothing makes sense–call out to Jesus. Trust Him enough to say I don’t trust You very much right now, please help me trust You more.
He knows your pain. He lived here. Friends betrayed Him. He was homeless. He was misunderstood. He endured the most horrific physical pain. He felt the weight of every horrible sin as if He had done it. He was mocked. He was weary. He was abandoned (for a brief time, but still!) by His Father. He was attacked directly by Satan. He had at least one friend (John the Baptist) in prison. He was hungry. He was thirsty. He was single for 33 years. His friends died. (Yes, He raised Lazarus up–but He still felt that pain.) He was hated. He loved and was not loved back.
He hates it just as much as you do, sin and its consequences. He hates it so much He went through all of that to free us from it. He loves us so much…