This week has been a roller coaster for me. Monday morning I was talking it over with Jesus, and telling Him how sad I felt. And telling Him that I just wanted to undo the last fourteen months. “I want Frieda back, whole and healthy and alive and HERE! I want our church to not be burned. I want Mama to not fall full on her face on a cold tile floor at our “borrowed” meeting place on a Sunday morning in February (a pivotal incident for embarrassment and infirmity in her life). I don’t want to think about the health issues and infertility issues in my family that were exacerbated this year. I don’t want Mama to fall in May and break her femur. I don’t want her to have suffered those four weeks. I don’t want her to have died. I want her here, healthy and alive. I don’t want Youngest Daughter, Rachel, to struggle to find a job for six months, with all sorts of reversals and setbacks and disappointments. I don’t want Middle Daughter, Deborah, to be diagnosed with a genetic liver condition (http://www.alpha1.org/) that has given great cause for alarm. I’m just so tired of everything! And I’m just so sad . . .”
And (Believe me!) there were a few other things in there that I “didn’t want” that can’t be said here.
Where do we go when life is too much for us? How do we choose life and hope and peace when it seems like an exercise in futility? What do we do when the people we love are hurting and struggling and doubting and failing? And what makes us think that it will ever be okay again?Listen, dear friends! Here is where I’ve chosen to focus:
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19a
If there is anything that I’ve learned on this sojourn, it is that praise makes the darkest night navigable. And while there may be all sorts of things that make me sad, I still need to choose that He does all things well, and that He is to be trusted. It probably won’t ever all be “okay” again. That’s what Heaven is for.
And if I can’t sink my “trembling soul” onto that immovable rock, then I’m pretty sure there’s no hope for this season of my life, this time, this place and my future mindsets.
The last few days have been better than that terrible Monday. For every one of the “I wants” there have been blessings that I can choose to look at, be grateful for, and acknowledge God’s hand, working for our good.
I’m as convinced as ever that faith is the key to having a life focus that gives courage and hope.
It didn’t end at the Cross, and our Sunday’s coming!
My heart chooses grateful praise.