It’s Broken but Is It Beyond Repair? (A Modern Lament)

This post has no answers just questions; life’s often like that.

Life was looking up.                                                                                      

I had surpassed the doctors’ expectations for recovery by going back to work. I didn’t just do my job, I completed my contract position leaving with accolades that quite frankly made me blush. I had new contract opportunities and a great reputation, things were looking bright. Three months before the completion of that contract we had signed a two year lease on our new house. Money had been promised to help with the rent from an outside source and my wife had a secure government job with the school board so there was no need to worry if new work could not be found, we were covered.

Life began to show some cracks.

I don’t know any other way to put it. The things that seemed certain became uncertain, the things we thought were under control are now out of control. The money promised from the outside source was never made available. We were in trouble but there would be something else for me, there had to be, at least my wife had a guaranteed job. Our debt would rise but in time I would work again and we would catch up.

Life began to come apart.

The long-term contract jobs didn’t come and now it had been over a year. We were in financial trouble but at least we had some equity in our life insurance policy. We could get through the summer layoff months, until the school year started in September and my wife returned to work. I looked for jobs in ministry and elsewhere but there was nothing that fit my health limitations. At least my wife would be returning to work and maybe I could find a part-time job for the time being.

Life stopped working.

My wife has an autoimmune disease that reacts to the cold. If no precautions are taken, she will lose her fingers and toes. She can stay inside and other workers can cover the outdoor duties with the children, it’s no big deal, she has done it for years. My wife has also worked under restrictions imposed under her return to work agreement after an at work injury that occurred more than 10 years ago. This too is no big deal she has done it for years.

The call came two weeks before my wife was to return to work. “We can no longer accommodate your disability and your health issue.” All of a sudden there was no spot for her to work and she was being placed on short-term disability with the suggestion that they would like her to go on long-term disability if she qualifies, if not she is finished.

Life is broken.

There are no more guarantees, no more things we can count on. The things that seemed to provide stability and hope have disappeared. I want to reach for that verse, that promise of God so that it can speak to me, it can give me hope that this will all turn out. I can find the verses, I have meditated on them before and they got me through, but now their meaning seems no longer applicable.

“What have I done, what sin have I committed that has led to this?” I ask God.

I want to believe God has been teaching me something but I am left with asking “why am I so dumb that I can’t learn the lesson so I can move on, so my family can once again enjoy God’s blessing?”

I am left with questions but no answers, the biggest one being:

“Life is broken but is it beyond repair?”

Psalm 38 (NIV)

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
Your arrows have pierced me,
and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.

My wounds fester and are loathsome
because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart.

All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.
11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
my neighbors stay far away.
12 Those who want to kill me set their traps,
those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
all day long they scheme and lie.

13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait for you;
you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat
or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”

17 For I am about to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin.
19 Many have become my enemies without cause[b];
those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil
lodge accusations against me,
though I seek only to do what is good.

21 Lord, do not forsake me;
do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my Savior.

You have read my lament and the more eloquent biblical lament of David, have you considered laying it all out before God, have you tried your own lament?


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