Ponderings: Menachem Av

On a regular basis, I get phone calls and emails and private messages on Facebook. It doesn’t bother me; it is a blessing; it lets me be who G-d has made me to be–an encourager and exhorter. I love to listen and to speak words of life and blessing to others. Sometimes, however, it does take its toll, and I am learning that all the difficulties in this world are not for me to carry, but to offer up into Abba’s care time after time–to never stop surrendering to His will.

These past few weeks during the Dire Straits have been particularly trying for me and for many of my friends and acquaintances. I have felt raw, and completely exposed to the elements. I know my Covering is still there, but He has felt a little distant.

Last night, I spoke to a friend on the phone and I found myself speaking these words: G-d doesn’t show His character to those He doesn’t love.

Who does G-d love? He loves all. So then, how does He get those whom He loves to see His character? Through trials, through illness, through hunger and thirst, through sleepless nights–by whatever means necessary. For how can we recognize the true nature of our Father unless we know we are lacking, unless we see that there is a Great Provider, the source of all life and peace? He makes us to feel the lack of Him, in order that we will, like a little child who’s gone too far from her mother, notice the distance and run back to her mother’s arms. He makes us feel alone so that we know that we are never alone; He is steadfast; He is always there, longing, waiting for us to run back to Him.

Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

He speaks to my heart; is He saying something like these words to you as well? “Will you come to Me; will you come to Me even now? When your world is crashing down around you? When all hope seems lost? Come. Cast all your cares, your worries and fears on Me.”

O, how He longs for you and me, how His arms ache to comfort us.
Run back, dear ones of the Father, run and He will run to meet you, and take you up into His bosom and hold you tenderly. Let Him love you; let Him show you who He really is, for He is the Father of all comfort. Truly, He is Comfort.

To learn more about the month of Av, I highly recommend K. Gallagher’s post here: Month of Av: Tisha B’Av and Tu B’Av
I also recommend The Power of Rachel’s Tears from Aleph Beta Academy, which speaks specifically about the purpose for fasting on 9 Av.