There are times when I look to the character of Your love of human beings for consolation, strength, and hope. I am amazed at how much You love us despite our flagrant fickleness.
Last week was a time of oppressive darkness for our family and the pall still hangs over us. My brother is in a rest home that’s giving us a hard time about releasing him after a long recuperation that seems now to have run its full course. Add to this that we had to euthanize our 15-year-old family dog who was very sick. Then, my wife’s older brother died 2000 miles away and the trauma of it all sent her to the hospital for three days.
I think of Job in the Old Testament; and I also think of how hard it is to think of You and keep You present at such times; but mostly I think in terms of being “tested.” Such times try the mettle of my love. For the people we love who are involved along with us at such dark times, it is hard to know what to do. We often have good intentions but do the wrong things. We do what we think is loving but are rejected. At times, even that which we think is an act of love is not wanted. What we think is best, is worst. What compassion we might show is considered phony and pragmatic. What do we do then?
Relying on the perceptions and feedback of others at these times can be disconcerting. It can dash our hope and make us doubt our own take on the situation. As much as it has become a cliché, the best answer is to simply place it in Your hands – even if others might think this is a cop out – and let it go! The hard realities (which we choose not to deal with) are that my brother may have to spend the rest of his life in a nursing home; our dog is not coming back; the mental, emotional, and physical problems that plague my wife may be permanent; and her brother is gone from this life. It sounds a bit callous, but accepting the reality of these things and then letting them go helps us to move on. Yet there always seems to be a residual of memories that stick with us – and some are not very good. These too we must find a way to release into Your loving hands and move on.