By Kristin Overman
Children make everything about Christmas more fun. Everything is so eventful and exciting for them, seeing lights, receiving gifts, doing advent activities, even opening the box of Christmas decorations. Christmas was always the hardest holiday for me before I had kids. Year after year would pass and I had not been able to get pregnant or keep a pregnancy. Even adoption had been one disappointment after another. We spent four years trying and went through three failed adoptions. In October of 2008 I lost a little boy two days after he was born. His birthmother changed her mind after I had held him and named him. That year Christmas was especially hard. Another year with just two stockings on the fireplace.
During this difficult time of infertility, health problems, and loss God showed me who He was. I had struggled with seeing God as good when I had so many hurts. I saw my trials as God’s hand of discipline. I felt like I was just not good enough for God. I believed He was teaching me to be a better person and have more character through trials. My idea of God was that He was only a strict disciplinarian who demands His followers to give all to Him. He was distant from me and I was scared of Him. If I cried to God it was either in anger or confusion.
God lead me to read through Psalms. He opened my eyes to who He is through David’s honest outpouring of his heart. I began to see that God wanted me to cry to Him. I learned to see God as a loving Father who wants us to run to Him for comfort as we would a friend. In my mind I saw this picture of God sitting on His throne. His lap was open for me to sit with Him and to be held by Him. He wanted to hold me and comfort me in the midst of my pain like any loving parent would their child. Even though there were lessons and character to be learned He was interested and cared about my pain.
As I saw how David cried to God in his pain I learned several things. God doesn’t always answer our whys. But He responds to our cries.
No matter how big the hurt, His arms are big enough to comfort. He does not keep pain way. But He is always near. He is the God who holds our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). He is the God who never sleeps or slumbers to watch over us (Psalm 121:3). He is the God who pulls us out of the pit (Psalm 40:2). He is the God who gives to His beloved in his sleep (Psalm 127:3).
My prayer for anyone in the midst of hard times would be that you would run to God, see Him as the ultimate Friend, the perfect Father, and the Wonderful Counselor. No person, no thing can comfort and heal as He can.
E.M. Bounds says it beautifully in his book about prayer,
“O thou who driest the mourner’s tear,
How dark this world would be,
If, when deceived and wounded here,
We could not fly to thee?
The friends who in our sunshine live,
When winter comes are flown,
And he who has but tears to give,
Must weep those tears alone.
But thou wilt heal the broken heart,
Which, like the plants that throw
Their fragrance from the wounded part,
Breathes sweetness out of woe.”
Kristin Overman is the overjoyed mother of four boys. Kristin and her husband Tim, know first hand how God answers prayers.