When You’ve Just. Got. Nothing.

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My sister is my best friend. We keep in touch regularly and frequently. We sometimes talk on the phone even when we don’t have anything much to say. At some point, if we run out of things we can pretend are important enough to talk about, there will come a long pause, and then one of us will say, “Well…I got nothin’.”

Today, it is with reluctance that I say the same to you, the precious mom reading this. And I’m sorry to have to say it. But I got nothin’.

The details don’t matter, and I’m not including them here for the same reason I think Paul never told us what his “thorn in the flesh” was: so that we could all identify with him, instead of only a few. And I’m well aware that others in this world are suffering far worse than I am. But suffice it to say that right now, I am spread so emotionally thin and am struggling to bear so much stress and pain that I have no encouraging words for you. I have no funny stories. I have absolutely nothing to offer you that would make your day any better, urge you any closer to the Lord, or even make it worth your time to read this.

Unless, of course, there is someone out there who can somehow benefit from reading the following words: I still have faith.

I do not have faith that God will necessarily make my circumstances better (some will not improve until I reach Heaven, unless God should choose to do a bona fide miracle). Can He, if He wants to? Oh, yes. But will He? I don’t know.

But if He doesn’t, it won’t be because He doesn’t care. It will be because somehow, in some way, He knows that He must not. That He can not, if He is to do what is right and best (and only He gets to determine what those are). It won’t be because He is somehow unaffected by my neediness and pain; on the contrary, He will weep with me.

I don’t know whether or not He is going to take away my pain. I hope He does! But I refuse to define His goodness by whether or not he changes my circumstances. I refuse to stop loving Him simply because He won’t do what I want, like some sort of genie in a bottle.

I refuse to accept good from God, and not trouble.

I choose faith.

I choose Him.

Job 2:10—“Shall [I] accept good from God, and not trouble?” (NIV)

Daniel 3:17-18—“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (NIV; emphasis mine)

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