You gripped the handlebars, steadied your feet on the pedals and took off! There you were, the wind in your face, pedaling faster and faster as your balance steadied. You did it! You were riding a two-wheeler like all the big kids. Then it happened. That dreaded crack in the sidewalk caught your front tire and before you knew what was happening you were tumbling down to the ground.
Pride crushed, you started running. You could feel the gravel in the fresh cuts on your hands and knees, but you kept running. Tears streaming down your face you fell into his arms. He held you close, stroking your back and telling you that you will be ok. You pulled back and looked at his face, into his eyes. They had tears in them too. He hated to see you in pain, yet he was treasuring this moment. He knew the days were numbered where you would run to him, your father, in moments of despair and grief.
As your trembling shoulders subsided he wiped the remaining tears from your cheeks and did what he knew was best. He bandaged up the cuts on your hands and knees, and walked you back to your bike. And with loving words of encouragement, he helped you get back on and try again.
You shake your head at this memory, knowing it was in the past, and is of no use to you now. The overwhelming sense of pain and grief hits you again as you process what just happened. That memory of falling off your bike seems trivial compared to the pain you are feeling now. Who can you turn to? Who will understand?
When moments of grief or heartache hit you today, do you ever feel like you can approach God like you may have approached your parent when you were a child? Maybe, just maybe, God gave us parents to be the imperfect example of His perfect love and longing to grieve with us in the pain. Or maybe you were taught as a child to hide and be ashamed of your pain and brokenness, and now feel incapable of honestly approaching the Lord.
A few years ago, the Lord put Psalm 56:8 on my heart. This verse says,
“You have kept count of my tossings, put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?”
I’m not sure what you are going through today, but will you take a moment and let these words sink into your heart?
He Keeps Count
“You have kept count of my tossings…”. Can you relate to that…the tossing and turning during the night when the pain won’t subside? Not only does God see our tossings, our longing for Him to fix it, for comfort and for peace, but He keeps count of those tossings. He truly sees us in those moments of pain.
He Takes Part
“…put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” This is where this verse really captured my attention and my heart. Not only does God see and keep count of our tossings while we grieve, but He participates. He is not only standing at a distance, he is wiping the tears from our eyes. Not a single tear falls that He does not see. He is not just watching you grieve from afar, but He sees you, is with you, and is sharing in your grief.
He is With Us
Have you ever thought of this? Have you ever realized that while your heart is breaking, and you are calling out to God, that He is with you? And that His heart is breaking as well? You might ask, “If He’s God, why has He let me go through this? If He loves me, why hasn’t He rescued me?” He sees the big picture, and He’s is the author of your life…your story. He can handle your questions and accusations. He knows the whys behind our grief, and how long these seasons of hurt will last, but that doesn’t stop Him from lamenting with us, and walking with us through the pain.
God is our perfect Father. He is always with us, and longs for us to run to Him in moments of joy, and seasons of grief. As we lean into His open embrace, pouring out our broken hearts to Him, He grieves and laments with us. As he counts our tossings, and puts our tears in His bottle, He is also preparing us for what He has in store. No pain is wasted, and He longs for us to trust Him to use that pain to bring glory to His name, and to trust that it’s for our good.
So, just like when you fell off your bike when you were a child, run to your Heavenly Father in your grief, and trust Him to heal your wounds. Trust that He will continue to walk with you and help you once again face the broken and cracked sidewalks of our world, knowing that He is always by our side.