Though He Slay
It's been awhile since I've
truly written. Do you know what kind of writing I'm talking
about? The soul-bearing kind. Writing is therapy for me,
you see. As I push my fingers across the keyboard and words
appear before me on the screen, I somehow feel fulfilled...released.
I don't know…It's hard to explain.
I always wanted to be an artist.
Since I was a child I have pictured myself splashing my
experiences, my emotions, my lessons learned on canvas.
I've always wanted to mix colors in such a way as to reveal
truth and light to others -- to reveal the darkness of trials
growing dim as the Light of the Savior worked His plan of
brightness into the picture. But since I am color blind
-- and not too handy with a brush -- I don't think I would
be much of an artist.
I did, however, feel a hint
of jealousy the other day as I watched a news clip of a
barely nine year old girl who is an amazing artist already!
At the age of eight, she drew her own self-portrait in a
splash of autumn colors -- since Autumn is her name. What
a gift she has! When asked why she paints, she said,
"I don't know…I just like
to paint…I just have to paint."
But this article is really
not about painting…or writing.
It's just that, this year --
and particularly these past few months -- life has just
been hard! God has allowed painful trials to invade our
family's lives -- trials heavy with emotion for me. Sometimes,
it's just hard to understand what God is up to…
A friend's child has gotten
a rare and horrible form of cancer…and it's her second child
with cancer! From the moment she called me -- distraught
and unbelieving -- I fell to my knees on behalf of my friend,
begging God night and day through tears of intercession
that the mass they discovered wouldn't be cancer. But it
Another friend and I begged
God to cause her father to be saved before he died…but to
her knowledge, he went to the grave without Christ. What
can I say to her?
Yet someone else is still grieving
over her dead husband…a husband who will not get to see
his children grow up. A husband who left his widow all alone.
Alone and hurting. All of my prayers, hugs, and compassion
will not take her pain (or her anger) away. I see the burden
she bears on her face. But what can I do? Her emotion and
her reactions, the wall she has built around her heart --
they are her choice. It's her journey. My heart cries for
her as I try to work my way around that wall and enter in,
but I can do nothing.
These are not Lovelace family
trials. These are the hurts of others. My heart has bled
for them over these past weeks.
So…how can I feel so wrought
with emotion and hardship over my own trials when so many
other people are hurting?
The world is full of hurting
people. Do you know that? Maybe you are hurting badly today.
I'm sorry. I wish I could hold you. Pray for you. Take your
I am hurting, too. But ours
are private hurts -- hurts we simply cannot share at this
time. Only God the Father knows what we are going through.
It is appropriate to be silent at this time.
But it still hurts. I just
wish someone would hold us through all of this. I wish someone
knew. I wish those around us would know not to kick us when
we are already down…
So it has been hard for me
to write…truly write. Oh, I can write about general
things…surface things. I can tell of someone else's experiences
or explain a Bible passage. I love to write about those
kinds of things…but until now my heart has been too full
(or too empty) to put words down for you. Emotions are in
When I was a child, a blind
man would come to tune our piano. I loved watching him.
I would spy on him, waiting until he had set out his tools
and his collection of tuning forks. He would begin plucking
the inside of our piano-string by string, note by note.
He would take so long just to tune one note! And sometimes,
after tuning other notes, he would go back and adjust the
previous notes again.
Moment by moment as he plucked
and tuned, I would tiptoe closer to him. Did he know I was
there? Maybe. Probably.
How did he hear the notes?
How did he know the proper tuning of each one? He was a
fascination to me.
But I soon discovered that
as I listened, as I heard him adjusting and plucking, I
too began to hear the discord that he was working to correct!
Hearing him tune the piano
fine-tuned my ear for better notes, better chords, better
music! There was a method to his plucking! There was a song
in his own painstaking work. It was a long process, and
eventually I would grow tired of it all and run off to play.
But his fine-tuning has struck
a chord with me. Perhaps this is what God is doing in our
lives…in my life.
Over the past few months, our
church has been involved in The Story. This is a
Bible study strategy that encourages a church to "study"
its way through the Bible by reading excerpts from Genesis
This kind of study is hard
for me. I am more of a verse-by-verse kind of reader, you
know? I spent several weeks, not too long ago, on one verse
in Acts…something Paul did that intrigued me. Still, I am
pondering his actions…
But even in the book-by-book
quickness of The Story, God has been revealing Himself
to me, and fine-tuning that which I already knew.
Whole-hearted devotion is what
God expects from us. I have seen this expectation recently
through the lives of Adam and Eve, through Noah, through
Noah's boys, through Abraham and Lot, his nephew. I have
seen it in God's dealings with the twelve tribes of Israel,
through the judges, and now through the kings.
It's all about whole-hearted
devotion. It's not about sacrifice. It's not about empty
words or rote worship. And the closer we seek to draw to
God, the more He fine-tunes our lives…taking us even a few
steps back if that's what's needed.
And that's the painful part
-- the fine tuning. No, I don't understand all that's going
on. I know my friends and loved ones are hurting. Some are
even far from Him. But I can't fix it.
And in my own life? I can't
fix that either. But I can give whole-hearted devotion to
my Lord -- my Almighty Father. Because He is there. He is
painstakingly fine-tuning the notes of my life, the chords
of my journey. I don't always understand why. Why is it
taking so long? Why is it such a painful process? Oh my
Father…have You forgotten us?
But He hasn't. Bent over, brows
furrowed, concentration at its fullest, He is daily at work,
taking our discord, our trials, our pain, and fine-tuning
it for the chords of His Kingdom.
Father, I just want to tell You
I'm committed to this life I gave my heart to, so long ago.
I know You will never
leave me nor forsake me.
I just want You to know…
I will never leave You
nor forsake You either.
In the words of Job…
Though He slay me, yet will I hope
© 2010. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights