And then came the evening. Not so lovely. Really unlovely, in fact. Helping a child heal can be a difficult thing. This is especially true when you think you have made a lot of progress and the set-back seems completely out of the blue and you have no explanation. I think it is the disappointment that is the hardest to deal with. I was pretty unhappy when I got into bed and truly wondered where God was in all of this. I needed to know He was in it somewhere; that we weren't swimming in this deep, deep sea alone. So I turned to my Bible, looking for some sort of encouragement. I don't know about you, but sometimes when I am feeling discouraged and go to pick up my Bible, I am at a loss as to where to begin. I know the Psalms are always comforting, and that's where I usually go, but for some reasons I opened to Isaiah last night. (Having been leading a group of junior and senior high school girls through the book for over a year, Isaiah is quickly becoming my favorite book in the whole Bible. If you haven't really read it and studied it, I highly recommend it.)
I opened to Isaiah 43 (a chapter we have yet to reach, so I wasn't heading there on purpose) and this is what I read:
But now thus says the LORD,
he who created you,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name,
you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be there with you;
and through the rivers,
they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through the fire
you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
"Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you.
I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made."
Isaiah 43:1-7 (ESV)
It's probably not exegetically correct, but I felt God was saying that yes, it will be hard, but you will survive and your children will survive as well. This would have been enough. But what I lingered on, what I most needed to hear at that moment, and I didn't even realize it was that God love me. It said it right there in front of me, "and I love you". At that moment nothing else mattered. I knew I could get through whatever was to come because I had what I really needed. God's love. And that was enough.