As I sit here to write this, I don’t fully grasp the hope I feel in my heart, an odd peace, an unshakable faith. This year has already held a few emergency runs to the ER with friends and extended family. Already held a few hands during some very challenging events. I’ve found myself grappling with some evil schemes on levels I didn’t want to believe were possible.
It’s only Feb. 1st. And it’s my birthday.
I’ve already been stretched beyond what I’ve felt capable of.
And yet, I’ve not felt forgotten or alone or helpless. I’ve felt held. Even now, I see Jesus smiling at me in my mind’s eye speaking hope that everything is going to be just fine. He doesn’t see things the way we do, does He?
In my processing of the past 53 years of being on this planet, I’ve asked many “whys” of the Lord. I’ve heard people tell me that that question is not a good question to ask the Almighty, and yet, I’ve never felt the Lord upset with me for doing so. And there have been times He has answered that. Most of the answers revolve around shifting my perspective to seeing things through His eyes, which is much different than mine.
I remember one such moment, when I asked Him about some current events that seemed so very overwhelming, and I saw Him walk up to me with the globe in His hand like a ball, with a cheesy smile on His face. He just communicated to me that He was in control. I was not. And that was OK. I could trust Him. He’s got this.
That’s difficult to see though when your one of best friends has just found her daughter unresponsive, and you are standing in an ER room holding tightly to her hand. It can be difficult to see when you are tenderly cupping the other hand of your spiritual papa who has been told he is now on hospice, while you pray for every moment of his life to be fulfilled. Or when you kiss your mama’s forehead and tell her I’ll see you soon, as she meets Jesus. Or when you are swimming in a sea of anger, because once again Jesus asks you to let Him into a new level of pain in your heart.
And yet, faith keeps rising – faith (trust) in a loving, compassionate, good God who keeps changing my perspective.
You know I once thought I’d never make it to 40 years old, and truly I’ve been almost taken out multiple times in these 50 some years. I’ve walked through some extremely hot fires, and traversed waters that I thought would surely wash me away, and yet, God’s unfailing love and goodness keep chasing me down. Ps. 23
I got up early this morning to go to breakfast with my family and a friend, just as the sun rose. You all know I love a beautiful sun rise. Jesus spoke to me a few months ago, that as one day is ending the next has already begun. What hope there is in that! A new day, a new horizon, a new hope has already begun even as the day is fading.
Recently, during a different hospital visit, someone I love who faced major surgery said “People tell me that I need to stop smoking. That it will kill me some day.” I wondered where the conversation was going. “But I say, every day is a gift, and I might as well live it up how I want too.”
Sadness pricked my heart, and I kindly responded, “You know, every day is a gift. But I rather live each day to bless and help someone else.” That statement is not to say how great I am. I am not all that. Yet, I just don’t want to live this life to make myself feel good, for my pleasure, and benefit. I mean I like all those things. But I want something more. I want my life to have a positive effect on this world around me. I want to shine light in the darkness.
I want to be there to hold my friend’s hand and stand in rock-solid faith with her as she faces the impossible, because we love the God of the I aM Possible. I want to be there to speak life to my friend who just got the death sentence and see that through the eyes of eternity. I want to spend time crying with the survivor who went through hell on earth, like I did, and then show who Jesus really is. I want to love my own kids well, and show them that life is worth living, and fighting for, and there is a bigger picture than just me, trying to gain things for myself. I want to love my husband every day, showing him value for who he is in my life.
You know, I have a feeling that there are going to be many more challenges to traverse in the coming seasons, and yet, I see and feel this faith and hope growing in a good, good God who loves us unconditionally, who is not surprised by what happens, but instead, He holds the playbook, and I can trust Him.
I can lean back into His great love, and just BE, because I know He’s got this! And that is my birthday wish for you too. Lean back into His great love for you, and live each day as a gift to be used to bring some light to this dark, dark world. Love you all so much friends!