“For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.” -Job 5:18
What happens when hallelujah is hard? What happens when gratitude is replaced with stinging tears and hands that cover faces scrunched-up in pain and a mouth that only has words like why and how could this happen?
What happens when precious lives are wasted, in the name of war or choice or freedom or money? What happens when young love is broken apart and pieces are left everywhere and family members hold their breath and pray that they can make it through this one more time?
What happens when bellies are tight and empty somewhere while halfway around the world ¾ or halfway down the block ¾ belts on the loosest loop are tight with gluttony? What happens when death comes and pries apart love that has withstood the tests of time and modern culture and instant gratification?
Really, what I’m wondering is, what happens when life gets to be too much and my heart breaks a hundred times a day and that lump just keeps happening in my throat and my chest hurts and everything in me is groaning under the weight of this world and its brokenness and words I cannot find with my mouth are raging deep in my soul and I think the closest translation is God, do not delay any longer; Your creation is falling apart.
It’s shameful to admit, but my reaction to the brokenness of this world is one of wide-eyed disbelief in God’s goodness. How could He let these things happen? How could He let those most important to me struggle in such painful ways? How could He watch the destruction of life and love and not step in, do something, anything, to help, to intervene, to make it stop?
And I sit here rubbing my swollen eyes and wringing my helpless hands and my soul quiets just enough to hear a whisper that is not my own, not my angry and demanding voice: I am still good, and you, my child, are learning. You have so many reasons to sing, but your voice is choking on your rage and your need for answers. I never promised you answers, little one. I told you it would be hard. But I promised it would be worth it.
It doesn’t make the tears stop. It actually makes them worse, but I am what I like to call a major weeper. It doesn’t make my heart hurt less, and it doesn’t give back what the brokenness of this world has stolen, and it doesn’t make me jump up with some huge sense of purpose and a plan to fix everything. Instead, it quiets the storm in my heart just enough so that I know I can make it to sail into another day, and I feel my lungs fill up with the song of the hard hallelujah.
He promised that the pain would be worth it. His certainly was.
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Laura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.
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