Isaiah 61:7- Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
While I was nursing my firstborn, I went through a Joyce Meyer stage and discovered this gem. I do not know how I had missed it before. I have a hunch that my Father was saving it for just that season, but there it was in black and white on the page, a double portion. This is good news to the hurting, and all these years later, that’s me again. In my house, these are the things I’m asking for double for in the middle of prolonged pain in my body.
A little one who doesn’t get to wake gently to my smile and my snuggles, because it hurts so much to be in the bed with her. And now I see fear comes knocking on the door of her heart. And fear is a trespasser, and we post signs and tell him to go, but he does not go softly or quickly. I want double Love for all this fear. I want Your arms to hold her (and them all) when I can’t. Double strong, double tender, double gentle wake ups. Double heavenly smiles raining on her.
That middle, quiet, seemingly independent soul. So slow to ask for what she needs until it all bubbles over in a mess of overwhelm. Doesn’t she just need the most sensitive ear to hear what isn’t said and most watchful eye to see when her body language contradicts her words? And now I realize when she’s already in bed, that she needed me a couple hours ago. And I missed it. Again. And You know that about her. About us. But You never miss an inflection of her voice, a thought in her head, an emotion she can’t define. You’re always right there. You know her better. Give her double for her troubles, Lord. Where this mama can’t sometimes. And maybe I’ll go back and ask when I can, but timing. I’m looking for those apples of gold in settings of silver, so allusive to me now, but so easy for You.
And the “come watch this,” tinkering, 5397 questions asking, always-needing-action boy. Give him double for all the times I just can’t come or muster enthusiasm, because I finally got the moment of rest I’ve needed all day. And I don’t have the answers because my brain has wasted a lot of energy just keeping the pain low enough in my consciousness that I can be present in the way I am right now. And I am spent. “I just don’t know the answer, but it’s such an amazing question. So why don’t you see or why don’t we look together later?”- on my good days. And, frustrated ” I DONT KNOW”s on the bad, and then apologies. Oh, how I know I need Your mercy. And action? I am completely bankrupt in that department.
Can you take him on an adventure with You? Make it really exciting, maybe even a little dangerous, but I don’t need to know about that part. Will you promise me to be his best Friend, now and always? Teach him to invite you into all his discoveries and questions. Let him discover Your glory and mystery out there. You’ll need boots and play clothes, because he loves the mud and all those creepy crawlies. Come watch this, God!
And my husband, director of the healing rooms, who prays and declares with me and for me and holds my hand and hears me cry in the night, because it’s too much. Other times, he reaches over to an empty spot on the bed and knows it must be really bad again tonight. And I hope he can sleep, but sometimes I know that he can’t. What loving man could? It hurts to do everything you know to do and still see someone you love suffering with no sure end in sight. He knows it’s not his job to heal me, Jesus bled for all this, but what about the seed God has sown in his heart about miracles? What about all your benefits we are not supposed to forget? Isaiah 53? Who wouldn’t wonder about those who get healed and those that do not, because many have experienced astounding miracles, but some have not. His beloved has not. Yet. Or again. When, Lord? What are we missing? Give him double for this trouble, God.
And for me, all those years in my teens and twenties that I was in pain. And now again. It hurts so much down here. And You and I have talked so much of Caleb, strong as an ox when he was eighty, and the path of the righteous growing brighter day by day. What about that? I want double the strong, pain-free days. You remind me that eternity is a long time. There’s no pain there. And I have a lot of life and wholeness left waiting for me here. These are light and momentary trials. You don’t wait until heaven to wipe away all those tears. You number my wanderings and hold my tears in your bottle. So I lean into your chest and your understanding and find comfort and rest in my time of need. You are so kind. You celebrate my victories and forget all about the other stuff. You tell me to forget it, too. So I can.
While we wait on the Greater Works, I don’t know, but maybe You’re more interested in the Greatest Commandments. At least where we live. Today. That seems to be where You’re moving. Responding. Gracing us. Lavishing goodness in all our bad.
So I respond with, I love you, Lord, with all that is within me, even though it hurts so much down here. Because right here is where I step into Amazing Grace. I still hear you call my name with all the affection of the Kindest Papa. I still believe your dreams for us are true. I trust you. Help me to trust you more. You are trustworthy in all my profound frailties. You entered into them, Jesus, so you know what it’s like down here. Your trustworthiness tends to be revealed most right here. I hear Your song calling me in the night. You never leave. Ever.
And we love each other. We learn to listen and love in new ways when the old ways are so disabled and fumbling. And we trust you to fill these unadorned clay containers of Your goodness, hope, and love. Fill us still. Again. And again.
We would have lost heart, but we believe we’ll see your goodness right down here where it hurts so much. And we will receive our recompense, our reward. Double for our trouble. We wait on you and all your works. You are worth the wait.