Today I look at this title and cringe. Joy? I don’t feel it. It’s been four weeks now since Kiki was rushed to the hospital and this whole journey began. I’ve discovered that knowing God is sovereign, that He is good and that He has a plan doesn’t mean I’d always feel good about it. Don’t get me wrong, I entrust myself to my Lord completely. But somehow or other, knowing what I know hasn’t stopped the anger phase of grieving.
In His mercy, the Lord has given me a lot to do. Taking over the housework and Mikey’s schooling has keep me busy. It’s a good thing, because as soon as I stop, the waves of grief start crashing against me, threatening to overwhelm me. And I’m so tired. There’s a bone-weariness that makes it difficult to move, to do the next thing. People’s simple requests are starting to irritate the bejebbers out of me. (Don’t ask me what a bejebber is. I think it’s somewhere in the duodenum, but I only got a B in human anatomy) I’m crabby; I want to left alone; I’m afraid to be left alone; I’m losing my mind. Everything people do is annoying. The world is annoying. I’m annoying.
Hmm. I was really hoping to skip this. I’ve discovered that there’s a visceral aspect to grief. It’s like a hungry wolf howling in the middle of the night. Or Captain Kirk shouting, “Khan” when he discovers his son’s dead body. (Ha! I got a Star Trek reference in!) There’s no way around it. Stuffing it will only result in a messy explosion eventually. Trust me, if my head explodes, there’s only me to clean it up and I don’t want to. So I guess I’m stuck with processing.
So where’s the joy? Where it’s always been. The only joy that can survive this world is the joy in Christ. Let me share with you something from my brother’s book on suffering.
“God commands us to glorify him because it is only by doing this that we will ever find the rest, satisfaction, and joy in him that we were made for. He directs us to do this not only because it is simply right but also because we need it.” Tim Keller
So what is God’s glory?
a. The combined magnitude of all His qualities and attributes—His beyondness, His in-comprehensiveness. We all long for something beyond ourselves. This is it.
b. Kabob. The Old Testament word for weight. If we love someone, they matter to us. But God is what must matter to us most. I can lose Kiki and still live because it is God I cannot live without. If anything matters more than God, you are not giving Him the glory do Him. You’re giving glory to something else.
c. Doxa. The New Testament word for absolute beauty and splendor, wonder, brilliance.
Put it all together and you get this. “So to see God as glorious is not only to admit his incomprehensibility and beyondness, and make him the thing that matters the most, but it is also to work your heart so it finds him the most pleasurable and beautiful thing you know.” Tim Keller
In the beginning of this section, Tim states that a chief purpose of our suffering is to glorify God and that many verses in the Bible point out this very truth. It’s hard to see this at first, but I think one thing suffering does it to clarify our view of God. All of a sudden, the sacrifice Christ made on our behalf, the suffering He gladly took in order to save us and restore us to the family of God means so much more now. Kiki lives because Christ died. I will not only see my daughter again, but be fully joined to my God and savior because of what Jesus did two thousand years ago. Easter is a good time to meditate on these things.
Galatians 2: 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
II Corinthians 3: 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
People are still annoying me, but I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. I need to go fold laundry and pick up a grandson.