“Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.” Isaiah 30:18.
When my youngest daughter Caroline was 18 she received a phone call that her boyfriend of two years had been killed in a motorcycle accident. They had parted ways but had decided to give it another chance upon his college graduation. She was off at college when she received the news and I immediately wanted to go and be with her. She wouldn’t allow me to come up there and assured me she would be alright until the following Thursday when she came home for the funeral. As the days passed I couldn’t wait to wrap my arms around her and comfort her. I was completely heartbroken to realize upon her arrival that she didn’t want my comfort but wanted distance. In some odd way her pain drove her away from the comfort I longed in my heart to give her as her parent. My heart broke in half and left an intense longing to wrap my arms around her, and pull her close to me never letting her go. I wanted to immediately give my love for her expression but it took a few weeks before she opened her heart to be comforted. When she finally allowed her heart permission to face the suffering she melted into my arms and fell apart…the first step in healing.
Our Father is no different as He craves and yearns to comfort us. He extends His comfort but the pain is too deep sometimes so we reject the very thing we need to heal. We plead with Him for healing, yet our heart keeps Him at arm’s length. I know what it is like to sit on the sidelines watching a child of mine suffer silently…experiencing devastation in isolation. My heart would break as I watched her heart break. My tears would fall as I watch her tears fall. We have a Father whose love is deeper and wider than anything we feel for our own children. We have a Father whose heart breaks along with ours. God our Father wants us to run to Him with every heartbreak and dashed dream. He doesn’t want to sit on the peripheral of our pain but He will. He won’t force His love and comfort on us but will wait until we turn to Him. And then when our pain-filled eyes meet His longing eyes the comfort will come rushing in as He stretches out His arms and pulls us close to Him.
When we are ready to come to the Father He will rise and move heaven and earth to restore our life and heal our pain. He will drench us in His love and garner us with His grace. 'For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave. But you, O LORD, are a compassionate and gracious God...abounding in love and faithfulness...Turn to me...Give me a sign of your goodness...for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.' Psalm 86:13-17.