Rarely do John and I have moments where we sit at the table and just talk. Too often we’re both exhausted, and conversations drift away like bubbles on a breeze. Great intentions; non-existent energy.
I was sitting on the bench at our table during one of those infrequent times as we discussed a variety of things, from work to the kids. John had an article he wanted me to read–I can’t even remember what it was about–and I scooted closer to read with him. Sliding over this old bench.
That was a thankless gesture, for I immediately felt a deep prick in my leg. I was wearing leggings, and I glanced down and couldn’t see anything sticking out. I tentatively touched the spot that hurt, and I made it hurt worse.
I needed to figure out what it was, so I changed into a pair of shorts and found the tiny end of a splinter sticking out of my upper leg. It hurt like the dickens. I couldn’t pull it out–I couldn’t get a grip on it. Using tweezers, John grabbed it and pulled.
It kept coming.
That miserable little splinter was a full inch long. It had nestled firmly in my leg with only a small tip showing. I was grateful he could pull it out, but it hurt for quite a while after that.
Just because I couldn’t see the wound didn’t mean it wasn’t there.
Pain means something.
Life can be incredibly painful. We carry wounds all our lives. When we’re young, many are hurt intentionally and unintentionally by people who should love them. The rest of life brings wounds as others injure us deeply with words, actions, and attitudes.
The Bible is full of stories of people being wounded by others.
Abraham wanted a son, and God had told him he’d have one. His wife Sarah wasn’t fond of waiting, and rather than biding her time to get pregnant, she gave her husband her maid, who got pregnant and had a son. Once the boy was born, Sarah became angry, blaming Abraham for sleeping with her maid, and then treating Hagar so poorly that the maid ran away.
An angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her she’d have a son who would have many descendants. She and her unborn son wouldn’t die. She believed what God said.
“Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, ‘You are the God who sees me.’” Genesis 16:13a
Hagar’s wounds from Sarah’s hurtful actions were deep. But God saw her in her pain, and He provided for her and her unborn son.
God sees us. Nothing is ever hidden from Him. He looks upon us with joy, for He longs for a relationship with each of us. A friendship that can provide healing, hope, and a future.
No problem–or mess–is too much for Him.
Not even the worst of splintered people.