She rose from bed; it was 2:00 a.m. and the house seemed cloaked in gray with only the faint glow of a streetlight to penetrate what would have otherwise been thick darkness. The ambiance seemed to fit her mood – bleak, tired, weary of well doing, but not yet despairing to the point of anguish. Thankfully, the shadowy light from outside guided her footsteps.
She praised God for that glow - that flicker of something else coming through the trees as they tossed in the wind.
The waves of “whys” rolled inside her heart and soul like tidal waves, relentless in their quest to beat her down into pebbly pieces. Her strength seemed compromised; her desire and conviction crushed. Was this to be the rest of her life? Was she to be defined by struggling and suffering and discouragement? Was she to unsuccessfully support a waning, hurting person while compromising her own dreams?
How could she think at a time like this, let alone pray? What did God want from her, with her? How could she give more than she had already given? Wasn’t there another way to live, another way to love and be loved in the midst of crisis?
She clicked on the kitchen light above the stove and a softness spread throughout the room. Out of the refrigerator came the peanut butter and jelly, the loaf of bread – the sweet, carbohydrate-laden pacifier. Something must fill the emptiness inside. Something must console the shaking.
Her rational mind told her that God has always been faithful and would continue to be, that His plan could not fail, that the Holy Spirit was her advocate – even as she gorged on peanut butter, feeling sicker and more repulsed with every bite. It seemed her heart momentarily weakened and even failed, sinking into a sadness that felt burdened by a heavy constriction – like the pressing weight of a wine press, squeezing every last drop from a barrel of swollen, overripe grapes.
Of course there would be tomorrow. Of course God would show up; there would be a rescue, complete with restored hope. God would resurrect this night. He would bring purpose out of this pain. But for now, disappointment consumed her. Disappointment in circumstances; disappointment in herself; disappointment in the jar of peanut butter.
“Come, Lord Jesus, take this cup from me; “restore unto me the joy of your salvation”.
The night could be long, but dawn was sure to come. The warmth of His love would chase the darkness away and restore the brilliant conviction and trust that ruled her heart; she knew it.