Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)
“and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
While my mind questions the purpose of suffering, pain, and death, my soul recalls your beaten body on the cross, your pure heart that endured an agony I will never know, and loneliness I will never meet. Even still, you don’t belittle my heartache; you don’t bypass my hurt. You suffer with me and pave my path to victory.
So, Lord, in my seasons that wilt and wither, may I choose to root deep in your truth, thirst for your voice, and reach for rays of hope that your resurrection glory scatters throughout each day.
When my mind questions why bad things happen—why pain follows the just, innocent, and kind—grant me grace, Lord, to reflect on my own heart and ask why good things don’t happen. Could it be that I have the time, resources, and gifts to alleviate another’s burdens but choose personal convenience because I’m afraid to dirty my hands? Could dry ground be the holy ground I’m too comfortable to contend with?
In Matthew 5, you call us the salt of the earth and the light of the world. May we step into this immeasurable opportunity to flavor the earth with your goodness and shed light on your love, no matter our circumstances.
Father, pain is the tool you use to till our hearts, unearthing who we are to break ground for who we will become. In our season of growth, may we be brave and vulnerable. May you quench our thirst for purpose as we allow your glory to soften our hearts and shift our perspectives.
Perhaps the purpose of the struggle isn’t an aftermath we strive to understand but a present way of living that we embody for the sake of others. Perhaps the healing process is redemption's gift—unequivocal access to the Lifter of our heads. Lord, as our cups overflow with your commitment to abide in us, may we water a weary world with the promise that all things will be made new.
May my soul be satisfied with no other purpose in pain than to imitate your sacrifice and understand what it means to grow in love, to live for the harvest of others’ blessings and beauty.
In Your Holy Name, Jesus,