There were two conversations at my table. Each of the women made herself vulnerable, sharing with gut wrenching honesty. One had been attacked and left with the symptoms of trauma. The other, a mother, was feeling hopeless to help a foster son, reeling with maladaptive behaviors following abuse and neglect. She wanted to feel compassion, but it was buried under the anger this child’s behavior arouses.
My heart ached for these women and this child. I did the only thing I could do, the best thing to do. I prayed, and as I prayed, God gave me a word of wisdom that I am still pondering. “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle?” (Job 38:22-23) Another translation used treasuries, instead of storehouses.
What treasure does God reserve in the cold and difficult circumstances of our lives? How does this treasure help us as we fight the battles of our lives – battles to trust – battles to save relationships – battles for emotional wounds to be healed. Quoting an old Scottish preacher ( forgive me for forgetting his name), there are only two kinds of prayers – birthing and battling.
I am reminded of Viktor Frankl, a survivor of a concentration camp, who wrote so compellingly in Man’s Search For Meaning that the one right, the one freedom that no one can ever strip away from us is our right to choose our own attitude, the meaning we give to our own pain. Is our will to choose the way we will think about our heartaches, losses, and the injustices we suffer, the treasure God reserves for the day of battle?
May God give light to those we battle in prayer for. May that light give them courage to believe that God is good and that he will give meaning to their suffering – to believe that he heals and re-creates – to believe that he can restore what the enemy plunders.