God Sees and Cares, Always

picture of a bearMy family calls me Mama Bear for a reason. I love deeply and fiercely, especially when someone hurts those I love. I can also struggle with the ability to let go, long after the incident has passed. Something deep within me cries out for justice—for the offender to acknowledge and take responsibility for the damage they’ve caused. When that doesn’t occur, I take comfort in knowing God sees and knows all, my and my loved one’s hurts included, and will one day make all things right.

When my daughter was young, a teacher spoke ugly things into her heart and hurt her deeply. She had entered the school with a love for learning and a hunger to explore. By the end of her fifth grade year, she became paralyzed by a growing fear of failure. She grew so afraid she’d get answers wrong, she got to where she couldn’t write anything.

In a year’s span, I watched the spark within her grow dimmer and dimmer. It took some time for this hurt to heal. Years of loving and kind educators speaking life into those wounded areas. Witnessing the long-lasting effects of my daughter’s pain triggered protective anger within me. I wanted the harsh teacher to know precisely what she’d done.

I imagine there have been times when you’ve felt the same.

When we’re in that place, it helps to remember our God sees. He quote from post on a teal backgroundsees every hurt, every callous word, every unloving act. He sees, He cares, and promises to, one day, make all things right. While this truth doesn’t negative the pain we all experience in this broken and often unjust world, it does help cushion the blow knowing we and our loved ones aren’t alone. God sprinkles reminders of this throughout Scripture, of times when He demonstrated His love for justice and those who likely felt discarded, betrayed, and abandoned.

I wonder if that’s how Bathsheba, the woman from 2 Samuel 11, felt when she first learned of her husband’s death. Some of you may be familiar with the story. Scripture tells us one day, King David was walking about on his palace roof, likely gazing across his land. From this elevated position on top of Mount Zion, upon which his castle stood, he could easily see the open courts of all the houses below. And then, mid-stroll, a beautiful woman captured his attention. She was bathing in her garden, completing ceremonial purification rights, likely in honor of God. Completely unaware of the lust-filled eyes locked upon her. Shortly after, the king’s messengers came knocking at her door to take her back to the palace. Soon after, King David, the man with supreme authority in the land, slept with her then sent her home.

How might you have felt in this situation? Living during a time when women were often treated as property, to be summoned, used, then discarded? And then, before those wounds have had time to heal, she learned she’s pregnant. Likely terrified, she told the king. Soon after, he had her husband killed.

After all this, did her soul cry out for justice? Did she long to know that someone saw her pain, that someone cared? We know from Scripture God indeed saw it all and held David accountable for his sin. (2 Samuel 12). But He did more than that.

Notice how she’s mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy in Matthew 1:

Verse six states, “David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife” (NIV).

First, why mention her at all? Obviously, each of the men listed had mothers, but we only read of five: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. With each, we learn of the sons they bore, but notice, with Bathsheba, we’re told something more. We learn not that she was married to David, the Goliath slayer and “man after God’s own heart.” No, Scripture says she was Uriah’s wife, the valiant, honorable man David, the king, had, in essence, murdered.

Granted, that’s not the purpose of Matthew’s list, and my perspective is merely conjecture at best. Still, I can’t help but find significance and comfort in knowing that God preserved this truth, that Bathsheba belonged to Uriah first. That they had belonged to one another. David stole her from her husband then later stole her husband from her.

In this small section of Scripture, I’m reminded that God cares for our big hurts and our small and has promised, one day, justice will prevail. Until then, we hold tight to the comfort of His love and the knowledge that He sees every injustice we suffer.

Let’s talk about this. Is there a situation, maybe a past hurt or a hurt someone you love has suffered, that you need to surrender to God? What words of comfort and truth is He speaking into your heart today? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. And speaking of hurts, make sure to check out the latest Faith Over Fear Podcast episode on finding the courage to break free from fear of rejection. You can listen HERE.

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When Relationships Are Inconvenient

flowers in a vase on a tableIn our rushed and often chaotic world, it’s easy to let relationships slide. At least, this is the case for me. I can become so wrapped up in my schedule and weekly to-do list, I begin to lose sight of my need for connection. I begin to take those relationships for granted, thinking I’ll have more time tomorrow, or the day after that, or perhaps next week or next month.

I’ve learned, to build deep, lasting relationship, I must be intentional and embrace inconvenience.

We moved around a lot when our daughter was young, which resulted in numerous friendships made then lost. While she grieved every transition, her sorrow increased tenfold when we moved to Omaha her sophomore year in high school. You see, she’d grown especially close to one girl in particular. The child had spent many nights at our house and had even accompanied us on a few family vacations. As a result, what began as awkward interactions at recess eventually morphed into a close sisterhood.

As you can imagine, when we told the girls my husband was being transferred, both were distraught. My heart ached for them as well, but I assured them that their relationship could withstand the distance, if they chose. However, they would have to work harder at staying connected. They’d have to embrace inconvenience, whether that meant long phone calls or car rides. They would also need to trade many of their spontaneous moments for intentional plans, scheduling visits weeks if not months in advance.

I knew, from having moved myself, this wouldn’t be easy, but I knew their efforts would be worth it. Or perhaps to rephrase, I understood the ache of friendships not built and held. Years prior, after having moved numerous times, I grew rather relationally lazy. Initially, I stayed so busy, this didn’t feel like a big deal. But then, I went through a painful season and found myself largely alone. And I realized I’d placed myself in that position. Always so focused on that next task, I’d “convenienced” myself into shallow relationships.

We know, at least in theory, the value of every intentional, inconvenient moment invested. But sometimes the busyness of life can make us houseplant with quote on friendshipforget, at least temporarily, until a crisis hits. Then we realize, maybe at a depth we hadn’t before, that we truly weren’t meant to go through life alone. When circumstances feel frightening and painful, we all need an “Elizabeth” we can turn to. Someone who gets it, whatever it is, or at least, if they can’t understand our particular struggle, who get us.

When we read about Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, the brief page space makes it appear as if this older woman lived a mere afternoon’s walk away. But that’s not the case. Scripture tells us young Mary, who lived in Nazareth, traveled to the Judean hills, some 80 miles, most likely on foot, to see her relative. Obviously, this took effort and perseverance. Would you have trekked such a long distance to seek support? Or might you have talked yourself out of going with each progressive step?

Although the more important question for us all, myself included, is this: What distance (literal or figurative) are we willing to travel today to form the connections our hearts need and crave? Whenever we’re tempted to remain holed up in our homes or offices, chained to our computers, may we reflect on Mary’s example, remembering that deep relationships require intentionality and, at times, a willingness to be inconvenienced.

For those following the chronological Bible reading plan …

Before you go, fun news! Registration is now open for Wholly Loved’s Beautiful Mess Mother-Daughter Conference! Register HERE.