In our last house church we walked through some heavy stuff with our friends. Lost babies. Cancer in the family. Unemployment. Kids diagnosed with things we'd never heard of before. Moving far away. Face plant on the floor and plead with God kind of stuff.
In the midst of this season, the ladies schemed together to "Scripture Bomb" one friend who was having a particularly bad year and couldn't catch a break. We decided to just write out cards of Scripture that this friend could put in the places she looked the most. Her mirror, over her kitchen sink, on the dashboard of her car, in her purse and in her planner. To remind her God is near and to put her mind on Christ. My best friend from kindergarten has done this for me in every trial I've ever gone through. Still these cards cling to the mirror in my childhood bedroom as they do to the mirror of my Dayton bathroom for me to see when I do my makeup every morning.
One thing I'm learning about suffering is that it brings us closer to Christ. Today in my Bible Study Fellowship class, the speaker encouraged us that when we are floored by suffering, that we should just stay on the floor with God for awhile. When my friend was having this tough season, we all wanted to do something, anything to help her off the floor. We wished we could give her answers. Or fix it. Or at least fill her with Oreos and milk and call it a day. But maybe now I'm thinking we should have encouraged her to stay on the floor with God for awhile. Encouraged her to put her scripture bomb cards all over her hardwood, her high pile Ikea rug, her kitchen linoleum. Because Christ shares our suffering. Jesus was floored by it too, when he fell upon the weight of the cross. And somehow he carried out the mission because he loved us that much.
When I try to get myself up off that floor, I slip on all the banana peels. I put so much effort into picking myself up but the result is clumsy. I'm grasping but nothing is stable enough to hold the weight. I work out more for endorphins. I text all my buddies. I eat a lot of chocolate or I don't eat anything at all. I make meals for other people. I journal. But still the suffering is here. No matter how many gymnastics I do, the floor is a magnet. I don't even consider that there is a possibility of staying on the floor, or that this possibility is actually a healthy one. Maybe God wants to be the one who pulls me up. Maybe He wants to teach me how to hang on tight on the floor for when he launches me into the air with strength and purpose. He wants me to recognize Him as the launch pad, and for me to remember our heart to hearts once upon a time when we were together on the ground.
Are you suffering? Get comfy on the floor. Plant your face into the coolness of your bathroom tile. Fight the urge to bounce up and fake it til you make it. Thank God for the square foot of your carpet that is not infested with legos or dog hair and don't be surprised when you find he is right next to you handing you his hanky like the perfect floor expert that he is.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.