It was a quiet Saturday afternoon, and my mother and I were enjoying a cup of tea and some conversation. Her full-time job and my "newlywed status" did not allow us the time to visit as often, which made our times together even more deeply treasured.
While the women were inside chatting, the men were out in the garage doing some kind of "man thing" to one of the cars. Every now and then we would peek out the window to check on them. We did a "head count" just to make sure they were all accounted for, but otherwise left them alone. Over the years we had learned never to disturb men at work.
We had just changed the topic of conversation when my husband appeared in the doorway. By the grimacing look of pain on his face and the tight grip he had on his thumb I could see, without him saying a word, that he was hurting badly.
Shuffling over to the kitchen sink, he stuck his hand under the running water either for pain relief or further investigation--of which one I was not certain. The only thing going through my mind, since this was the first time I had seen him hurt, was "my honey is hurting--what can I do to make him better?"
I began to think about gathering towels, bandages, ice packs and even mentally preparing for our first trip together to the emergency room. ANYTHING for the man I loved. My mind was racing at the speed of light and panic was overtaking me. "Oh the plight of the newlywed," I mused silently. About that time, I "got a grip" and decided to go over and take a closer look at what we were dealing with.
As I approached him, the color began to drain from his face. In what seemed like an instant, his knees began to buckle. Standing right behind him, instinctively, I reached out to catch him before he hit the floor. Not a bad catch, one might have thought, as I stood there holding him up underneath his armpits. But about that time his head dropped forward and he smashed his mouth on the edge of the sink and bite right thru his lip. I screamed out in horror realizing that my attempt to help had only injured him further.
My mother came in to see what all the commotion was and helped me drag my sweetheart over to the couch in the living room. We checked him out thoroughly, tended to his wounds and put ice on his hand and his mouth. By the time he came to, I was feeling some pain of my own in the form of guilt. Sensing this my mother lovingly said to me, "sometimes it's better to let them fall and then pick them up." It was obviously true as my husband incurred an additional injury, that was perhaps even more painful then the initial one, from my attempt to catch him before the fall. Needless to say, he recovered from it and I learned a valuable lesson. It's one that I've been applying to my relationship with God.
Before this incident, when I fainted spiritually, and fell as a result, I felt abandoned by God and very unloved. Since He is omnipresent and omniscient, not to mention omnipotent, why was it that He did not reach down lovingly to catch me before I fell? This question often plagued my mind. God used my precious husband's fainting spell to help me find the discover the answer to that question.
I came to realize that my "all seeing and all knowing" Heavenly Father knows that it is better to let me fall and then lovingly pick me up. He knows that there are things that I can only learn by falling flat on my face. One of the greatest lessons I've learned from falling is this: although I long to be like God, conformed into the image of Christ, very little about me is like Him. In short there is much work to me done in my life.
All of His holy attributes come in to play in every single one of His acts. He is love, He is just, He is merciful, He is truth--the list goes on and on. Unlike me, He does not make bad decisions but does all He does for my good and His glory. So why would I question His love? Because my yearning to be painfree supercedes my desire to be like Him.
Nothing that God does in our lives is meant to inflict permenant pain or injury though He does discipline and that can cause temporary pain. That discipline is always directed toward our spiritual healing and maturation. When we faint or fall along life's way, He gently picks us up. He carefully tends to our wounds and tenderly heals our broken hearts, then sends us on our way. His love may let us fall but He will always be there to pick us up.
[This post is part of my wonderful friend, Bridget Chumbley's, blog parade on the word LOVE. For more posts on "LOVE" or to join the parade please click here.]