Day 21

You Heard My Plea

from the Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross reading plan

Lamentations 3:34-66, Psalm 32:3-5

BY Diana Stone

Text: Lamentations 3:34-66, Psalm 32:3-5

Sustaining grace does not promise the absence of struggle but the presence of God.
– Max Lucado

Lately I’ve filtered my conversations with God. Many of my moments with Him begin, “If You allow…, then I will…”  My vague threats quickly turn to silence for fear of what else my flawed heart might say.

I recently learned that I’m pregnant. It’s my fourth pregnancy, our fifth child, and yet only one of our children lives on earth. This pregnancy was a surprise, but even more surprising have been the emotions I feel toward God right now. I’m a believer, but I find myself doubting. I know He loves me, but I find myself wondering. Like the writer of Lamentations, I’m standing in the wreckage of what could have been, but isn’t—and I’m questioning aloud if God is here.

“If you let this child die, I will never forgive you. Never believe in you again. How can you claim you are sovereign if you continually let this happen to us?”

So my prayers are weak and unbelieving. Distant. Filtered. I avoid confessing my anger and my hurt. Will God punish me? Will He even care? I’ve always struggled with prayer, but now more than ever before. My own sinfulness delights in this withdrawal from God to near silence. Filtering my prayers and pleas, my hopes and fears, means allowing my human nature to take back over. Not bringing my true emotions into the light is just another way of delaying what I know I need to do.

I need to repent. Even here in this moment— especially here. I am angry for the loss of my children, I am distraught at these blows to my faith, I am hurt that God did not rescue us from the storm that caused this wreckage. I am tempted to draw a line in the sand and say, “No. My faith in You can not go any further.” And though it is painful to say it all aloud, I know His love for me and my children is not threatened by any of these emotions. I know He hears me. And I know He is here.

So like the poet, I turn back to God with all of me—even the angry, confused and weary parts.

“Let us search out and examine our ways,
and turn back to the Lord.
Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
to God in heaven”
– Lamentations 3:40-41

Sometimes, it’s just all we have left to wearily “lift our hearts and our hands to God in heaven.” We all are sinners, regardless of the circumstances we’re walking through. We live in a broken world where awful things happen, and we don’t get to choose what happens to us. But the choice we have is this: what we will do when we realize how much God loves us? Is faith truly faith if we set limits and issue demands? Do we love someone simply because they save me from the uncomfortable?

Does our Lord love us this way?

Paul reminds us how to strengthen our faith and turn to God in times of trial:

…a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”
– 2 Corinthians 12: 7-9

Paul pleads with the Lord. He keeps bringing his pain back to God—not hiding it from Him—so that God can administer grace once more.

Our God sovereignly waits for me to return to Him with my brokenness, just like He waits for you. I don’t have to waste away in silence. I don’t need to draw lines, set boundaries, or attempt to control any outcome. I need to repent of these things, allowing the Holy Spirit to bend my will to the Lord’s. Knowing my Savior also suffered, I accept His perfect “grace upon grace” in the midst of the chaos and confusion we will all experience.

Our pain and our emotions are real, but so is our God. His grace is enough.

Prayer is the breath of the new man, drawing in the air of mercy in petitions, and returning it in praises; it proves and maintains the spiritual life.”
Matthew Henry


Post Comments (188)

188 thoughts on "You Heard My Plea"

  1. Kayla:) says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart!

  2. M says:

    This message hit close to home. I just had another miscarriage this past weekend. Each time this has happened to me I feel like God has forgotten me. Today, I picked up my Lent book to try and catch up and I read this message. Wow, I guess he wanted to get my attention.

  3. Rach says:

    I am praying for you, for a healthy pregnancy and child in Jesus name! thank you for this honest post. Hugs to you.

  4. Kelsi says:

    I am speechless and I am praying….that your heart continues right in the direction it is bent….confidence, UNCONDITIONAL confidence in God. This was such an authentic and raw post. The post of a genuine disciple, seeking her "let it be on Earth as it is in Heaven.

    David said it best…. (I'm paraphrasing)… I would have fainted, I would have given up, thrown in the towel, had I not believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!!!

    Praying with you sis! Standing with you on behalf of all of us whose faith is only strong because in our acknowledgment of how weak it is at times, we put it in the hands of ULTIMATE & ETERNAL strength, power and sovereignty. There and only there….it becomes strong and infused with grace to last…

  5. Hayley says:

    I feel terrible because after reading this all I can think is … “But she has a baby”. I would love one pregnancy. One celebration because of two lines in the bathroom.Every single month that goes by and I bleed with an empty womb I feel deep loss. I’ve crossed over into the place where I feel like God knows what he’s doing and maybe I would just be a terrible mother and so that’s why my womb sits empty. I’m completely powerless, it doesn’t matter how clean I eat or how much I pray or do yoga or take supplements… It just isn’t happening. Time is ticking by and I’m tired of the waiting game. I’m starting to plan my life now without children. It’s so hard not to mourn the fact that I will never know the excitement of a positive pregnancy test, or the complete joy of holding my newborn baby in my arms, or seeing my child beam with pride in a school Christmas concert. But here I sit and I can still say in the midst of this battle that I believe that God is good and that he loves me. I have to find a way to let him be enough…

    1. Brittany says:

      The woman that has been a mentor to me for several years struggled with the same thing. She’s the most amazing woman of God I’ve ever met and when I found out the depth of her struggle with not being able to have children blew me away because I never saw that struggle I just saw the same ol trusting and faithful woman I’d always known. But after five years of trying she finally got pregnant and now has a beautiful 18 month old baby girl AND she just announced last month that she’s expecting again! Moral of the story is, Gods timing is perfect. You will conceive a child when He wants you to according to His great and perfect timing. Or maybe, He doesn’t want you to have kids on your own. Maybe He wants you to save other kids from a life of darkness. Maybe your purpose is to adopt kids who may never know the love of Christ if it weren’t for you. Praying for your contentment and for these chains that bind you, that Jesus has already broken, to be shaken off and thrown in the river.

    2. Sommer says:

      I understand and you aren’t alone.

      I love when you said “but here I can sit and still can say….” That’s HUGE! Praying for peace for you.

  6. Brittany says:

    This series is wrecking me for real…. Man.

  7. Kasey Tuggle says:

    Our circumstances don’t depict our joy- our Jesus does!

  8. Tahleen says:

    Oh Diana, I will pray for you and your family through this pregnancy with all my heart. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us, and for always bringing everything back to Christ. Know you have a whole fleet of women (and men!) who keep you in our prayers.

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