When you’ve been hurt by those who give up when the terrain gets rough, then, there’s a great chance you’d try to bend the other way in your subsequent journeys so the pain you faced is relegated to history where it cannot knife others. You don’t see the sense in making others face what you had to, because you intimately know the pain of being left to struggle and make sense of life alone.
When the lash of pain has torn you more often than you can count or even remember, you might go forth into life with a grim determination to make it all about sunshine, breezes and blossoms for others – because you think that’s why you had to go through hurt in the first place: to suffer so others don’t have to.
But as we heave and push to keep pain at bay, sometimes, we glance up from the struggle, and we’re seared to realize we are the only ones in the tangle; it’s just us in the fight to give life and love, but this life and love matters little to the ones we’re trying to save. It hurts to see that the ones we sought to protect from pain aren’t quite as committed to undo the knots in their own gnarled lives.
When we are left with the hollow feeling that we have been fooled into caring, a bitter caution slithers into our hearts, dimming charity in us and casting suspicion on every need which requires the antidote of merciful love. Jaundiced, we are unable to minister where mercy is most needed.
As my little sting sank deep, I was faced with a choice. To withdraw into a corner and wither my love as a self-preservation. Or to bury the hurt deep in Jesus’ Holy Wounds, and surrender to His Will.
The former tugged stronger, and for a couple of days, I stewed in a pot of my own stirring.
Then, I saw the words,
I have waited, waited for the Lord, and He stooped toward me and heard my cry. He drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp; He set my feet upon a crag; He made firm my steps, and He put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe, and trust in the Lord ~ (Psalm 40:2-4)
I leaned on the words to learn anew: He took me from pain. Not just anyone but my Lord did. And He placed me on solid ground, held me till I got back my confidence. He wiped my tears, gave me hope that pain is passing, and tenderly taught me that sorrow precedes joy.
It was then that my gaze came to rest on the final verse:
Many shall look on in awe, and trust in the Lord.
Many will trust in the Lord.
In the gentlest of breezes, the Spirit silvered in my soul a truth my frustration had mottled over ~ that no pain for God is ever wasted; no effort comes to naught in the vineyard of the Lord.
Many will trust in the Lord. Everything will be made perfect in His time and in His way. All I needed to do was to lean completely against my Saviour, surrender as an act of faith, and move on to the next pasture of need.