A God who shows up in anticipation of our needs…
It’s no secret that I have been suffering over the loss of my mom. Recently I read a sentence that I cannot attribute because I do not remember its author and I won’t quote it accurately either but here goes…. Grief lets go of you, you cannot get rid of it.
My understanding from this writer was that in my efforts to “work through” my grief, I was giving myself way too much credit. Grief isn’t worked through; it is experienced. For whatever reason, I was able to relax into the process a bit better after that insight ONLY to be faced with a grief of a different sort within twelve hours of my newfound, more rested frame of mind.
In both these grievous situations, my initial thoughts have tended to be off-point and unhelpful. As my mother was passing out of this life into the next, our grandson was in the process of being born. This was excruciatingly difficult to navigate. Where was my attention best placed? It was only in hindsight that I realized that there was a perfection to this passing away and entering into life on planet earth that for many, many reasons was God’s provision for me. It’s complicated; not everyone else would see it that way. But I know that I know that I know (now) that God was up to something that was personal and specific to me in terms of my care.
Armed with this fresh insight that God seems to be showing up for me in real time without me being particularly good at recognizing him, I was more prepared when my second tsunami of suffering arrived. Although I cannot share the particulars with you in an attempt to show respect for the guilty, let me say this: God made unique provision for me in ways that seemed tailored for my personality. They were perfect provision at just the right time.
I, like my friend with dementia, will probably forget or misapply this lesson in the future. But I am holding onto these experiences as reference points to illustrate Psalm 51’s trust in God to be fair and just and loving to his children. Maybe you could join me in looking for God’s provision because it is probably showing up in very unpredictable and mysterious ways.
This capacity to trust in the God of our understanding is essential in order to work the dreaded fourth step. I’m not so great at trusting, but it seems to me that God is perfect at being trustworthy.