We see each other on a day-to-day basis, and yet many of them are struggling to function. Getting out of bed is a monumental task. Looking at the faces of those they love and not breaking down into tears - another near impossible task. Maintaining any kind of normal routine? Forget about it.
I've been there. Still am, some days. Fewer and fewer days lately, but still some.
How many of these folks do you know? How many do you pass on the street, at work, in the stores? How many people hide a pain that you don't even know is there?
And how many of them worship side-by-side with you on Sunday, concealing pain under an "everything's all right" veneer that can be scratched thin by the well-meaning "How are you doings?" that are offered by their fellow pilgrims?
I talked with one of these dear friends tonight. And we talked and talked and talked. . . . .
We talked about the hurt, that lies underneath the veneer.
Then we talked. And talked and talked and talked. . . .about what lies underneath the hurt.
You know what it is?
Grace. Sustaining, life-giving, wonderful, matchless, GRACE.
What is sustaining grace?
Not grace to bar what is not bliss,
Nor flight from all distress, but this:
The grace that orders our trouble and pain,
And then, in the darkness, is there to sustain.
~ John Piper
The grace of God that has been poured out into our hearts, through the merciful, wonderful, amazing sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus Christ and His glorious - GLORIOUS! - resurrection.
Do you hear me???
Yes, there is something underneath the shiny veneer of polite society.
It's pain. Hurt and pain.
But - there is something underneath that pain. . . . . do you hear me?????
There. Is. Something.
If we will but rest in it.
And it is grace.
And it is, my friends, amazing.