Have you ever been one of those people who feel like you hear the right song at the right time, or someone provides the perfect wisdom at the perfect time of need? A lot people are caught saying, “What a coincidence that I heard that today, I was just thinking about that.”
Well, I suppose that depends on your definition of a coincidence.
On Monday, I was feeling guilty-- guilty for not responding the right way, guilty for not saying all of the right things, and then, of course, guilty for feeling guilty. But each day I receive a Daily Reading from Jon and Stasi Eldridge that usually provides a little nugget of hope. Monday’s reading spoke about the movements of heart; mostly that our heart is good. You hear that? My heart is good. Your heart is good. All of those bad things—jealousy, envy, anger, hatred, guilt—are not of my heart, because it is good. And so, when I recognize these types of feelings and then feel guilty for feeling them, I’ve been prompted to turn around and say, “Hey, this is not me. This is not my heart.” Because why?-- because my heart is good.
On Tuesday, I was wondering if all of this counseling is really getting us anywhere. I mean, has anything really changed? Have we grown or helped one another, or even moved away from those first few months of pain and sorrow? And Tuesday’s reading just so happened to be about the counsel that God has given us counsel to be with us forever (John 14:16-17). Because, let’s face it, we are in desperate need of counsel. Even if I thought we had our crap together, we’d still need people in our lives telling us “what not to wear”, in a sense. And in and out of each day I am receiving a lot of counsel, to help me keep my head on straight, basically.
So, let’s move on to Wednesday. I decided to leave my “after-funeral hangover and funk”, but let’s just say the enemy had other arrangements made. I woke up feeling like my eyes were still puffy from years and months of sadness, my head was spinning into the oblivion of all this confusion, and my heart was so heavy with fear, anxiety and worry that it could have sunk the Titanic all on its own. I felt alone, like no one understood me and there was no way out of these shackles. I felt like anyone I turned to might not even know what to say to me anymore. And I felt like my own husband and I were so distant you could call us Mercury and
“Jesus enjoyed people. Not everyone does, you know. Many stories find him feasting with a rowdy crowd. He invited twelve men to spend day and night with him for three years. His longing for companionship intensifies to a crescendo in Gethsemane: “He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him. . . . ‘Stay here and keep watch with me’” (Matt. 26:37–38). Don’t leave me alone, not now. How urgently human. Yes, Jesus knew loneliness. He’s not pretending. The one who created the human heart—whose own heart was so kind and so vast—this man felt deeply. He who created love and friendship longed for it.
This is no superhero, steeled and impervious to the human condition. Far from it.
And loneliness is something we all share with him. To be missed, or misunderstood. To be judged unfairly. To be wanted for what you can do, rather than who you are. To go on for years unappreciated,even unknown by those closest to you. Imagine living your entire life in a world where the people closest to you don’t get you. Oh . . . you do live in that world. And Jesus understands.
(Beautiful Outlaw, 63, 64)
(Imagine all of that bolding and highlighting as if it were in my own paperback book…)
Are you catching this? Because I know—I know how lonely life can get, or how lonely it is. I know how the answers seem to elude you when you’re so desperately seeking them. And so does Jesus, apparently.
What I’m finding is that the people who don’t yet believe in God or Jesus, or the ones who do believe but don’t actually know Him, are still being sought out by Him. All of these coincidences you find while driving in your car, making a sandwich, walking through Target, are motions of God to find His way into your heart. Dude, He doesn’t desire law abiders who know-it-all and preach-it-all. He desires to heal that darn broken heart. That same heart that just can’t deal with the disappointments, that heart that just cannot hang on any longer, that heart that feels so lost and alone it’s terrifying—that’s the heart he desires.
And I’m right there with you. I might talk like I know the Bible, or speak like a Proverbs 31 woman, but the truth is that I’m still longing and searching and hoping, too. All of this speech just spills out of me because I’m seeking Him and He’s answering.
(Oh, so ‘Everlasting God’ by Chris Tomlin just came through my Fray station on Pandora. Oh, those coincidences…. “Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord…You comfort those in need.”)
It is not easy to believe in something or someone you cannot see, or something and someone you cannot prove, but it is harder yet to try and manage these movements of the heart on your own. If you’ll look a little deeper, you’ll see that your heart is longing for someone indescribable and illogical to come in and hold that broken heart. And that’s a promise.