by Sarah Van Diest
“I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path.” Psalm 142:1-3a
“Let them praise his name with dancing” Psalm 149:3a
I hope you are doing well; that your heart is secure in the love of our Father each step today; that rest comes easily and food is satisfying. The simple things of life seem to be the basis from which all other joys emerge, so I hope those simple things are in place for you today.
But I counter my own conclusion with the understanding that life’s trials bring a deeper joy than simple pleasures are capable of producing. The body may be failing and yet its associated pains are not sufficient to drown out the joy of knowing that the Father sits with us when we are unable to walk.
I am complaining today. I am tired and my hand hurts from the cancer removed yesterday; the stitches pull and my skin is tight. New medication to slow my heart beat makes me feel fatigued and weary, and a night of little sleep from the anesthesia fading from my hand heaps on that. I am complaining.
So I take my complaints and lay them out there, lifeless as they are, and look at them. They aren’t so bad. They don’t really do anything. They just lie there. Like all the other feelings I’ve put out there to observe, they just sit there. I know them but they aren’t me. And that is a more important distinction to make than any I can think of right now. I know them, but they are not me.
I am not defined by them, but rather they are something that is part of my experience; as if they were a place I visit along the way but leave behind as I keep walking. They add to my compassion when I see others pained in similar ways. They remind me of my frailty and put to rest (again) my faulty beliefs of my invulnerability and self-sufficiency. They speak to me of my bond with this earth, and all life and death that circles and cycles through here. These are good and needed messages for my soul, if I choose to take them as such.
My complaining reminds me of what expectations reside in me; expectations of health and satisfaction, as if those are what this life is about and those are goals for which I strive. Really? At the end of my life am I going to hope that above all things I lived a life of health and satisfaction? How tragic that would be!
May that not be my epitaph.
Rather faith, hope, and most highly, love. Those words. Those truths. Those sentiments and aspirations. To live a life defined in such terms would be a glorious thing! To walk in this life of pains and afflictions with faith, hope and love is a beautiful, graceful way to step along the road. The walk then becomes a dance. The burdens stemming from being bound to this world become teachers of new dance steps as the Father plays the music: the pebble on the path – a skip; the chilling wind – a twirl; and the heavy weight – a bow. A dance.
Grace and Peace,
Currently, she works with her husband, David, in their agency, the Van Diest Literary Agency. Writing is a growing passion for her as she hopes to bring hope to hurting hearts.