Walking in the Valley of the Shadow of Suck

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of suck, I've found it really does suck.  I know people are worried about the election.  I know United Methodists are worried about the Book of Discipline.  Me? I am worried about what the next hour will be like.

Sitting here in the acute care hospice facility with my wife as she has suffered in pain the past day has been "a big bowl of sucky, Mr. McSuck-suck."  It took it all out of me.  We prayed together in the dark of the night, "Jesus, have mercy" as we struggled together with this evil which corrupts our flesh and bones.

I have fought it too and other disease and I have come to the conclusion this little secret: this is not God's plan.  This is not what God wanted for us.  I am sorry, but I just cannot go there.  Will God work it for good?  HE HAD BETTER! I am counting on it!  I am putting it here in black and white and if it means I am walking the path of Job, so be it.  I am counting on you God, to make something good of this because tonight, and in the nights past, I don't get it.

Neither did the Israelite who wrote the Psalms.  Was it more than one person? Yeah, more than likely and it just adds to the authenticity we are all going through some valley of suck.  Though the centuries separate us, I know there is one who got it "Do not forsake me, O Lord!O my God, be not far from me! (Psalm 38:21)"  It doesn't matter the circumstances, the valley of the shadow of suck...well...it just sucks no matter how you got here.

And that prayer, it isn't a prayer of doubt - it is a prayer of dependence.  The words of the Psalmist give shape and substance to the soul's suffering.  They ring true and pure in sufferer's soul - there has been another human being; a soul; like me; who has suffered - and they too, cried to God because they believed God would hear them.  God would not leave in the midst of the suckiest thing or things we could imagine.

If you do not want to believe in God because life sucks sometimes, it is your choice.  But as Luke said to Jabba the Hutt: "I warn you not to underestimate my power!"  It was not Luke's power and it is not my power.  It is the power in the presence of a God whose promise is not to leave or fore sake you or me (for Luke it was the "force" and a different conversation).  The Psalmist was not doubting God would leave - the Psalm writer was breathing out the promise God had given.  It is a promise God still gives to those who chose to cry out ESPECIALLY in the valley of suck.


Anonymous said...

Ken, I'm sad and sorry you, Heather and your family are in the valley of suck. I understand and have been there, devastated by cancer as my mom's caregiver and struggling with grief and post traumatic stress.

This is a great reminder for everyone who cries out to God for help in the valley, to know we are not alone, God is with us. That's His promises and God's word is true.

As hard as it is to fathom how any of this tragedy can be used for our good... Only God can do something so unbelievable so I hold on and claim that promise, my beauty for ashes and joy for mourning.

God have mercy and bless you all.

In Jesus name.

Cynthia Astle said...

Ken my brother, I continue to hold you and Heather and all your family in my prayers. Wish I could walk this valley for you, but know you have all my long-distance support.

Ken Hagler said...

Thank ya'll for your prayers and words of support.

Cynthia Astle said...

Forgot to mention -- picking up this post for UM Insight.

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