For a minute or two, while you are praying through your emotions, it just feels like a cruel game. In your mind, there isn’t any logical explanation for it. Your heart can only see what’s easy to see and what’s easy to see always, always falls short of God’s intricate purpose and plan for you.
You ask God a few confusing questions, and then you chose to believe God’s love for you. This isn’t a cruel game. This isn’t without purpose. This is making way a for a glorious display of God’s love to you.
And you are confident of that.
You have known God to overflow your soul with good things, protect you from bitterness, uphold your heart in sorrow, and show you how to drink from the river of His delight (Psalm 36:8). It’s a river that has yet to run dry, and you know it never will.
Believing that even this is making a way for a glorious display of God’s love pours strength over your soul and assures you that the beauty coming (on earth or in eternal heaven) is worth the perplexing, emotional prayers which slowly turn into praise. And that’s what God desires of you… a praising heart while in the midst of prayer and pleading.
You remember that you don’t have to feel ready or perfect to praise God, you just need to praise Him with your whole broken heart. Even if that praise sounds like a struggling heart resolved to believe.
You offer up your heart again. And get life in return.
This pain still doesn’t make sense. Not really.
But did it make sense for God to send His only, beloved, perfect Son to die for you, an avid sinner? Not really. Does it makes sense that God pursues you and desires to satisfy you forever? Not really. Does it make sense that God thinks precious, countless things of you? No, not at all. You know that God’s love doesn’t make sense, and it never has!
But still His love remains steadfast.
It saves. It sanctifies. It pursues. It makes good and perfect plans. It’s love, perfect love! And God’s perfect love meets your imperfect praise and asks for nothing more. You fully trust God in the midst of all this, and He is pleased by your belief!
And with a rejoicing, afflicted heart you sing, “I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living!”(Psalm 116:9).
This deeply hard and painful thing is making a way for a glorious display of God’s love. The same Love that died on a cross and rose again for you is the Love that’s walking you through the valley ever toward the Satisfier of your soul. And it’s the same Love that’s making the beautiful songs you are learning to sing. God is working His love in you. He is working despite you. And He is working for you.
So, you rejoice in confidence and praise God for these beautiful plans…these plans which are too wonderful and too confusing for you to understand. God’s beautiful work is being woven in your heart and in your soul. This the breathtaking miracle….. rich life growing from the heartbroken places. Rich life multiplying from desolate beginnings. All of this over and over again.
You sing, though you cannot make sense of this, and you pour out praise to the God who gives deep purpose to your body of dust…..who writes beautiful songs for your surrendered soul. Here you rest, are made alive, and begin to live anew even as you remain afflicted!
This, you are finding, is joy.