I’m sorry. I know those words don’t mean much but they seem to be all I can really say. I hate the pain I see you in. I can feel it in your text. I can feel the hurt exude from your fingertips as you type how you feel. I can taste the struggle you breath out. And I’m sorry.
Pain is disorienting. Pain is not logical. It is all feeling. Even physical pain is your brain telling you how to feel. It’s all nerves and messages. And the message is, this hurts. When we are in pain, we can’t logically tell ourselves to not feel that way. We may have every logical reason to not hurt, and yet hurt lingers. Hurt doesn’t need a logical explanation to be present, it just needs the slightest invitation. It is the guest who often is uninvited and stays much longer than asked for.
The Valley of the Shadow of Death is a real place. It’s dark, it’s damp, and it’s very real. David knew it well. And the one thing that brought Him comfort in that place was not relief from it. Sure, he wanted that. You want that. I want that for you; for myself. But it wasn’t relief, then, that he was given. He was given presence; God’s presence. “Even in The Valley of the Shadow of Death, you are with me”. That brought David comfort. Can you be comfortable in a place called the Shadow of death? Can you find rest in the Valley? I’m not sure. But I know even there, you are seen.
I see you. God sees you. Your pain is real. It is valid. It feels like death. It might actual be death. A good death or bad death? I’m not sure yet. But life nor death separates us from our God. He sees. He sees you friend. He sees. He doesn’t need you be strong. He is strength for you. What does that mean? It means at your lowest point, at the point where it all seems pointless and worthless, at the point where the thorn in your flesh seems to drive and rip more flesh than you thought possible, He is strong for you. You are not alone. And you are so loved. So loved. Even now, through your tears and your sadness and depression, He sings over you.
I don’t want you to be better right now if you can’t be. I don’t want you to be strong right now if you can’t be. I don’t want you be anything you can’t be right now. But you can always be wherever you are in God’s hands. I don’t care what you do while there, but just know it’s all in His hands. Shake, cry, mourn, wander, come back, wander again, run, fall, pray for death even; all of it is in His hands.
I know pain is confusing. Why was God silent as the Israelites suffered slavery for 420 years? Why the promise of justice then 400 years of silence before Jesus’s Advent? I don’t know. Maybe a better Christian can answer that; I’m not that person. What I do know, is that it makes no sense for a God who would give up His Son for me to not want to save me. His timing is always perplexing; but He always find us. And He has found you. He found the blind before they could see. He found the lame before they could walk. He found the lepers before they were better. He is attracted to your brokenness because that’s where His glory is seen.
So friend, I see you. I know you want to give up. In fact, you just might. You just might give up and walk away. But know this: God will never walk away from His children. Even when we make our bed in Sheol, He is there. That may not make things better right now. These truths may feel like swallowing poison. But God sees you. He will not give up on you. I only ask that you cry out, one more time. One more prayer, one prayer step, one more lament. Please. But even if you can’t, it’s ok. He is faithful when we aren’t; Jesus saved us when we couldn’t; and the Spirit prays for us when we don’t know how.
This letter is to tell you I love you. And that I see you. And that you don’t have to be anything but what you are right now. But let me end this letter when a little more truth. Yes, you are broken, sad, choosing sin, running from God and confused and hurt. But that is not all you are; in fact, none of those is who you are at all. You are loved; you are found; you are secured and rescued. You are an inheritance for the King of the Universe. You are a treasure in the eye of Father. You are called worth the blood the Son of God spilled for you. You are not your brokenness. You are not your voids, your chasms, your flaws or sins. You are God’s. Right now the eye of the Creator of all things that have ever existed sees you. He sees you.
I love you. He loves you more.