I was driving back to San Antonio from visiting my parents during the Thanksgiving holiday. Most predominately on my mind was my last moment with my mom.
When I am down, she becomes my shadow - I can't go anywhere without her hardly and when she went to bed early she had to get up several times to make sure I was still there. So Sunday morning when I put a few things into my car preparing to leave right after they left for church my mom followed me back and forth.
Finally, I stopped and we just stood outside together. She commented on the trees not having bark, two branches that were dying, and how there were a lot of cars at a neighbors house. Dad came out, told me to lock up the house behind me and we said a quick see you later so mom wouldn't catch on that I wouldn't be there when she got back.
By the time I made it back up the steps to the house I could hardly breathe it hurt so badly. I sagged against the wall and wept for my mothers constant misery.
Then I got up and I went to church.
As we sang and older song in the service one of the verses said for us to forget about ourselves and magnify the Lord and as I sang those words in my heart I realized how easy it is for me to magnify my problems, my heartaches, my whatever - until I can't see God anymore.
But on that drive home I realized something amazing surrounded the ache of grief in my heart and it was joy. Joy in the greatness of a God that is bigger than whatever troubles me. Joy that is stronger than pain. Joy that is brighter than the darkness of grief. Joy that overwhelms despair with hope.
As I considered it and how I could tell the world about it I realized that something like that just doesn't make sense. It's incomprehensible that in the middle of something horrible something so wonderful could still overpower the grief of it. And I realized, no one can get this concept until they actually get it. Until you've seen the heartache and seen how much greater God is.
I'm sorry for the circumstances under which things like this have to be learned - but I'm less afraid of tomorrow knowing the things I've learned through suffering.