I guess I hadn’t heard the song in a long time. More than 28 weeks to be exact. But when they played the opening chords this morning, the usual tears came for an entirely different reason.
“Lay down your burdens, lay down your shame;
All who are broken, lift up your face.
Oh wanderer, come home; You’re not too far.
So lay down your hurt, lay down your heart
Come as you are.
There’s rest for the weary, rest that endures,
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t cure”
I used to be unable to sing this beautiful song. I would stand there with my empty arms and flat stomach, feeling afresh the pain of our broken hearts and the sometimes fragile hope in God answering our prayers. It touched me so deeply – the idea that our greatest sorrow on Earth was still no match for heaven — that I couldn’t even bring it to my lips.
Hearing it today, with my hands resting over our sweet little girl as she kicked me from within, I cried tears of joy that God brought us to the other side of this sorrow. Singing of the brokenhearted no longer feels like singing about us.
He chose to cure our sorrow by giving us a child. We laid down our hearts over and over for two years, and now we rest our heads against the doorframe of our nursery and just stare at her crib, her tiny little clothes, and think of her filling this space with joy.
But this morning, I also knew that His “cure” doesn’t always come like this, and my heart ached for those who still can’t sing this song thru their tears. I thought of women in churches just like ours trying to keep it together as they sing of God’s faithfulness — willing themselves to believe He hasn’t forgotten them. I pray that the Lord will “cure” their sorrow by answering their prayers in the physical way He did ours. But I also know that some answers will only come in His presence when we reach Heaven.
There are many things I don’t understand about the Lord. I don’t understand why He sometimes gives physical answers and makes us wait our whole lives to learn others. But I pray that however each of us sang that song this morning, we will have the faith to truly believe that He is just as good either way. It’s not for us to understand His ways. It’s for us to come as we are, laying down our tender burdens and receiving the peace He offers (even when it doesn’t seem possible).