by Anita Miles
for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Two weeks before my husband’s 40th birthday, we welcomed a baby boy into our world. As much as we thought we were, I don’t think either one of us were prepared for that. He entered as a little whirlwind and I’m not sure either of us have recovered yet! We seriously wouldn’t trade him for the world! He’s a major sweetheart who can carry on conversations with big words you’ve never heard, but let me tell you...he has more energy than Jeremy and myself put together. Keeping up with him has been an adventure all by itself. Thankfully, we haven’t had a chance to even THINK about a midlife crisis!
Our little guy turned 4 years old a few months ago and his favorite thing to do is tear things apart and rebuild them. For the things that he can’t rebuild, he has one solution every time. “Daddy can fix it!” And poor Daddy spends many of his evenings after work trying to fix Levi’s problems… As far as Levi is concerned, his daddy’s hands can fix anything that needs fixing. There are only a few things so far that have landed in the trash because they were beyond Daddy’s repair capabilities.
Over the past few months, I feel like every time I’ve come to God, I’ve come like Levi when Daddy walks in the door. I’ve come with things that were broken.
I’ve come with a broken heart and overwhelming grief at the loss that we experienced in our personal world. The world in general has experienced that same brokenness from profound and unexpected loss in countless lives. Not just in the loss of lives - but for some it’s been a loss of income, loss of homes, loss of normals, and the list could go on…. On a personal level, our family has grieved in solidarity with the world. It’s unlike anything I hope to never see again in my lifetime. The human spirit on a global level has absorbed more pain in the last year than many of us ever imagined possible!
I’ve also come to God with broken health that is still part of the mystery of the unknown of the virus that has plagued millions of people worldwide this past year. My doctors have been wonderful, but even they don’t have the answers. And haven’t been afraid to say so. Time is helping for sure, but it hasn’t taken it all away. I’m not complaining to the audience, I’m just stating the facts. I’ve struggled to find the ability and even desire to write words down for you to read because some days I couldn’t put my thoughts and words together, much less make them make sense. And I’m still not very confident about it.
More times than not, as I have knelt at the foot of the Savior, I’ve had no words. It’s been more in the form of tears or moans of what I had no ability to express. It’s hard to express grief, pain, disillusionment, unknowns, uncertainty, and everything else broken all at once. So it was just a process of groanings before God...handing Him what I could, of this ball of confusion - unable to really know what all needed fixing. Some days I would borrow the lyrics of a song because I didn’t know what words to use…
“All of these words on paper...all of these thoughts in my head...deals I’ve made with the Maker...
All of these stones in my pocket…daydreams I’ve left on the shore...the jagged half of my locket…
Songs I’ve shouted to Heaven…keys that don’t fit any locks…
I bring it to You! There’s beauty in all that You do - I give You the scraps that make up my soul,
You make me whole…” **
Even through the confusion of the past year, every single time I’ve taken the broken parts and what seemed to be “scraps of my soul” to Jesus, He has opened His hands to take what I was willing to give. He has consoled me when no one else could or knew. He has spoken peace in the turbulence. He has kept us when we weren't sure what the next day or even the night was going to bring. He has been more than faithful and nothing within me has considered or desired walking away from His love. He has been our constant source of strength and I can’t imagine having to have faced this season without Him.
No matter who we are or what season of life we are in, there is no place safer to hand over and have the pieces of our life fixed, than the hands of Jesus. I don’t know what scraps or pieces you have that you can bring. You may feel like you can’t articulate it well enough. I encourage you to bring whatever it is as my little guy does - with the faith that is simple and sure. Bring it to the Father and lay whatever is crushed, conflicted, or confused in His caring and capable hands and ask Him to fix it. He may not fix it the way you think He should or see it in your imagination, but
He makes beauty for ashes. Every. Single. Time.
Isaiah says it beautifully:
”for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
“...to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
** “I Bring it To You” - the Isaacs