The Day I Saw Red

Today I saw red.

I was so angry at the injustice that I burst into tears.  That’s my response, ya know, when the going gets so tough that all kinds of nastiness is about to spew forth from my lips.

But I know I’m held to a higher standard than the world; I know the tongue is sharper than any two-edged sword.  I know letting those words escape would be wrong.  So I gulp the words down and they rise up as tears instead.

You see, there was this insurance claim for a broken bone, which happened during our family vacation (see the story about Buttkill Falls).  And even though we followed every step that we should have, even though we did everything according to procedure, the insurance company still refuses to pay.

It’s really not just the fact that this month we’re already short, and the medical center has already removed money from our account.  After all, I know Our Provider can handle dollars and cents.  

It’s not even just that my tailbone still hurts and now I’m miserable with a cold, too.

It’s the incredible injustice of knowing you did everything right, yet still you suffer.

I saw red, and I was tempted to despair.

For when you have one of those days. "Whenever I get to that point, the point when I'm telling the Lord He's not being fair, He has only to say one word..." The Day I Saw Red

I asked the Lord, “Why? Hasn’t enough gone wrong already in the last few weeks?”  And the truth is that it really has been an incredibly crazy few weeks for us.  One trial after another.  When it rains it pours.  That kind of few weeks.  The kind of weeks that string into one long line of day after day of some new problem to cope with – problems with

The kind of weeks that string into one long line of day after day of some new problem to cope with – problems with ministry, problems in the home, problems with old, leaky  pipes, problems with finances, problems with health.

You cling to His promises and try to face each new challenge with a trusting heart.  But it all sort of piles up on you until you feel like you can’t breathe anymore and you want to beg for rescue, cry out for mercy.

It feels unfair.

And whenever I get to that point, the point when I’m telling the Lord He’s not being fair to me, He has only to say one word…

Jesus.

It wasn’t fair to Him, either.

He did everything right and nothing wrong, yet He suffered even unto death for my sin, my wrongdoing, my evil.

Oh, the shame!  The shame of having questioned.  The shame of telling myself my petty, short-term suffering is unbearable, that it shouldn’t be required of me.  The shame of my sinful pride.

And the perspective!

The perspective of realizing there are so many others suffering much, much worse evils around the world.  People struggling just to survive.  People dying for their faith.  People dying without any Hope.

The perspective of remembering Who is on my side – how could I forget?  Has He not proven Himself faithful time and time again?  And still I doubt, like Peter who saw the 5,000 fed, yet feared the wind and the waves, walking toward Christ, yet slowly sinking.

The perspective of remembering Who is on my side – how could I forget?  Has He not proven Himself faithful time and time again?  And still I doubt, like Peter who saw the 5,000 fed, yet feared the wind and the waves, walking toward Christ, yet slowly sinking.

So, I saw red today.

My face turned red.  Tears fell.  I shouted angrily at the Lord, even if only in my mind.

And then He showed me Red.

Red blood dripping from the sacrificial Lamb, the perfect Son of God who deserved only glory, not death.

My salvation and my forgiveness.

The One who understands true suffering.

It was the day I saw red, and I told the Lord it wasn't fair.  Whenever I get to that point, He only needs to say one word to me...

Forgive me, Father, for my faith is weak and I sometimes doubt.

But You, You are good.

Even when I am not.

And You love me, even when I fail to love You.

Thanks for reminding me that I’m a work in progress, and that work is not yet complete.

I have Hope in You.

Jen :)

 

Okay, I’m pretty sure I bent the Five Minute Friday rules again today, and this is way more personal than what I’m comfortable sharing. In fact, I’m downright embarrassed and a little afraid.  But… when I sat down to write, this is what came out at the end of a long day, concluding a long week.  And I can’t hide it away as I would like to, or I wouldn’t be a truth-teller.

My friends, we all have sinned. And we all doubt.   Even missionary kids.  Even ministers’ wives. Even faith bloggers.  :)  If you’re struggling today, I want you to know that you’re not alone.  And that He loves you anyway.  Just listen to the words of the song below.

Read more encouraging words from another blogger who’s having “one of those days” here.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Jen! stopping by from Five Minute Friday! this is where you are tonight and there’s no shame in that. I think part of the goodness in this community is that your sisters will read this and lift you in prayer. Father, bless your daughter, give her Your peace, show her Your way. You are the final authority over her life and she will lack no good thing. I pray your provision for her life. In Jesus name. Amen.

    • says

      Thank you so much for that sweet prayer, Lisha! :) He really has given us peace over this whole situation. Now we’re just waiting to see Him work! Thanks for stopping by!
      Jen :)

    • says

      Yes, Joanne – it’s the beauty of five minute fridays, isn’t it?! I haven’t had a chance to read many yet (sitting down to do just that now), but I’m always blessed by hearing from others, too.
      Jen :)

  2. Sandy Mogren says

    Thanks for writing about your struggles. The Bible has a way of showing us the imperfect, sinful ways of many of the people we learn about, and that is great because we can then identify with these people and be blessed by how they made it through their struggles. Thanks for the one word reminder of Jesus.. who changes everything.

    • says

      Amen, Aunt Sandy! I’m so glad God let us see both the good and the bad in our biblical heroes. You’re so right that seeing them struggle and then thrive gives us hope.
      Jen :)

  3. says

    Hi Jen! I found you through Five Minute Friday. I saw red earlier this week and fell into despair. My prayer journal has an embarrassing prayer in it. But the love and grace of God is so abundant. I am praying for you and your family. Life’s not fair and the world can be cruel, but we have a powerful redeeming God who takes care of us. Blessings to you! Oh, and no worries, I kinda bent the Five Minute Friday rules too…I had to edit! I just had to :-)

    • says

      I think that’s kind of what this post was for me – an embarrassing journal entry of sorts. :) Thank goodness for grace and for redemption! I’m always glad to know I’m not the only rule-bender, too. I have a hard time sticking to the time limit!
      Jen :)

  4. says

    Hi Jen! Thank you for visiting me today!

    I think we all lose it now and again. Actually, I have a post coming up that explains a day when I was so frustrated too. Don’t feel embarrassed on my account! I completely relate to your confusion.

    I am a work in progress too (who isn’t?), so we can keep trying together. It’s easier with a buddy!

    Nice to see you today!
    Ceil

  5. says

    This was beautiful (visiting from FMF btw). It is nothing at all to be embarrassed about. In fact, sometimes the post we are most embarrassed to share are the best ones! It is actually very refreshing to see hear a Christian say they sometimes have weak faith or get angry at God..because it is so HUMAN of us to do that. I have those times too. This was powerful writing, because of how you worded it when you thought of Jesus and then how you chose to use the word red to describe what He did for us. This piece of writing touched me, and I am not just saying that.

  6. says

    Jen, this is such a great post! I struggle with injustice too. I find it very hard to let go of things that aren’t fair and right. I have seen red like you many times. Yet, I love what you have said here about the unfairness and injustice of the cross. So glad you were able to head towards Jesus in your hurt. Love this brilliant testimony.
    Thanks for linking up at Essential Fridays.
    Blessings
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

  7. says

    Jen….raw and real. How true it is that our weaknesses can distort our view of things and take our eyes of the One who saved us. How awesome it is to know, He is faithful even when we are not. Thank you for stopping by WJIM’s Monday’s Musings and linking this up. Have a blessed week.

  8. says

    Jen, thank you for stopping by my place yesterday and leading me here. I love your honesty. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Beautiful!

  9. says

    Hi Jen!! I am so sorry about the insurance claims being rejected. Breaking a tail-bone is painful and takes so long to heal. Too bad that you didn’t know I lived so close to Bushkill Falls!!

    • says

      Oh, man! Well, I do make it out to PA every once in a while to visit my brother’s family. Maybe next time I’m out that way we could meet in real life. Wouldn’t that be fun?!
      Jen :)

  10. April Marie says

    Jen, I appreciate your humble response. The Lord has sent me so many places that injustices may be done against me. Over and Over I asked Why. I was innocent, I did not deserve this. The Lord showed me that When the Righteous go before the wicked and the wicked persecute them. The Lord Himself steps in and judges them. In this way Justice is brought forth in the earth. So I think of all the others that do not know our God and Provider that these people would steal and cheat from. ( I know these are strong words but they are truth. The same way that God will not allow You to withhold more than is due- He does not desire that they would do this either.) I encourage you to pray for the other families that they will find the Lord and that He will provide for them as well. I stand in agreement for you that the Lord – Whose very throne sits upon Justice will intervene intercede and bring Justice in the earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus name amen.

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