“It’s like a road…I’m on one side and he’s on the other. When he’s away the road has a big crack but when we’re together the crack is all filled up again.”
This is how Abigail explained her sobbing after her big brother went back to university. A whirlwind visit that just was not long enough and seemed to hurt her more than not having him at all.
How could I try to still her wailing when I could barely keep from crying myself?
Abigail is my deep thinker. She feels deeply and wears her heart on her sleeve. She loves with passion and hurts with equal intensity. I am like that. In order to cope, I often shelve my feelings so that they do not overwhelm me.
As I coaxed her to stop her sobbing the anguish in my own heart could not be quenched. Not only was my son gone but my daughter was heartbroken. It did not take long for little Christianna to be weeping right along with her sister.
“Why?” Abigail asked repeatedly. “Why does his school have to be so far away? I want him here with me!”
Do you wonder if God felt the same way as He saw His Son come to earth? Does it not seem obvious that God would ache for what He knew was to come?
It will never be the same for our family. Even when Matthew is finished school, if he gets posted back to Nova Scotia, he will be a man, accustomed to his own rules and schedules (as much as the military allows). By the time Matthew is home, Zachaeus and Hannah Grace will both be finished with homeschooling and be involved in some kind of post secondary situation.
I told Abigail that change was good. We grow and mature and fill the new roles God has for us on our journey. Is it always easy? No. Do we get to miss our loved ones when we are apart? Absolutely.
When Abigail was crying, I asked her if she was trusting God to take care of Matthew and of us. She quickly said that she was not. She did not stop crying. Trusting is not always easy, especially when we are hurting. We do not understand why things in our lives have to be so hard, why we lose people and suffer disappointment and loss. It may be that we never understand.
That was not very encouraging was it? There is more…
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God loves us so much that He was willing to be apart from His Son so that we could be forgiven. Not only that, but He gives us every good and perfect gift AND He has only our best in His plan.
I explained to Abigail that right now, Matthew’s job is to go to school and do his best to do well with his studies and be a light for God in a place that has much darkness. Our job, while he is gone, is to trust that God is taking care of everything and obey Him in all things.
One of our favourite hymns was written by John Sammis in 1887. Read the lyrics carefully and then ask yourself do you trust and obey – even when it’s hard?
Trust and Obey
When we walk with the Lord
in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
but our toil he doth richly repay;
not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
but is blest if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove
the delights of his love
until all on the altar we lay;
for the favor he shows,
for the joy he bestows,
are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we'll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey.