Crying when God gives what I need and not what I want is a regular event in my life. It’s most recent occurrence happened on Sunday. At church. During the sermon.
I thought I’d hidden my tears. Until the woman to my left scooted a few inches away, and my husband gave my shoulder a squeeze. He knew what the woman did not. He knew the pastor had said something that touched the tender spot in my heart. The place where I long for the healthy father I never had.
My husband was right. Our pastor had described Jesus telling the paralytic that his sins were forgiven. Then, the pastor paused. “Do you think the paralyzed man thought something like ‘Thanks for forgiving my sins, but what I really want is to walk again.'”
Tears welled in my eyes. My dad. My mom. My sister. My brother. Me. We had all wanted Dad to walk again, for God to restore what Dad had lost to multiple sclerosis. But, God didn’t give us what we wanted.
Long ago, I accepted God’s plan for my father’s life, though it wasn’t what my family wanted. Decades after Dad left this earth, God continues to reveal the good being accomplished through my father’s life. Even so, our pastor’s words probed the tender spot in my heart where my childhood longings for a healthy father are stored. The probing hurt, and I wept for the father I had wanted.
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