I find I have an interesting pattern here on my blog. Interesting to me, that is. The more real life stuff I have going on the less I either can or want to write about it. Sure, I process the world and everything in it by writing, but that does not mean I need to or should share that with anyone else.
Last month, I started writing for God’s World News again. It’s writing I enjoy and I mostly have adequate time to get it done on time. It’s meeting a need for our family as well, which is a great thing. Last week, I stopped writing for WORLDMag.com. I cried. I laughed. I’m moving on. Disappointments, relief, and future promise, all wrapped up into one.
Two weeks ago Craig met a guy hanging from the very end of his rope. One week ago that guy called Craig, reaching out for help. We took him in for the weekend, made more coffee than our Keurig coffee maker pot has ever been asked to make before, and the girls drew pictures for him and ministered to his weathered soul in a way most of us will never be able to. Even our dogs loved on this man in a significant way this weekend. Yesterday, Craig checked him into a rehab place for the next 10 days. We’re praying for him. We’re planning a (very small) party for him for when he gets out. We’re hoping. Disappointment, relief, and future promise, all wrapped up into one.
One of my kids is really struggling with Latin. This same kid, who has previously really struggled in math, is carrying an A- right now, seven weeks into the school year. Disappointment, relief, future promise.
We have an amazing house that isn’t nearly as close to the city as we’d like it to be. It’s also never as clean as I’d like it to be, but again, it’s an amazing house that holds much potential for refuge and strength. Disappointent, relief, future promise.
August was a bad financial month for our family. September was a good one. October is a big fat mystery. Disappointment, relief, future promise.
I think somewhere in my life I used to believe that if I could only do all the things good Christian girls are supposed to do, I was owed something. Of course, I understood that Christ paid it all and only through Christ could salvation be obtained, but I think I wasn’t just interested in salvation. I wanted good and safe and secure and I wanted it now. I wanted it because I was good. Because I followed the Christian rules. Because I earned it.
I wonder now just how long it’s going to take me to stop trusting in myself for my sanctification.
I have no idea why life plays out the way it does. Why are hard things really HARD? Why do some people seem to have it so easy? Why do some people have lives that suck so much you can hardly stand to be around them? Why do we condemn everyone around us who we perceive ourselves to be better than for fill-in-your-own-twisted-blank?
I needed a reminder of reality today of the Isaiah 53 variety:
He had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
And I’m forced to ask myself the question, “So do you still feel like you are owed something for good behavior? Because let’s take an honest look at your heart, shall we?”
I am not owed a life free from hard things. I can’t earn safety or security because I follow the rules. I do not deserve either the life I’ve been given or the promise of things to come.
Disappointment, relief, future promise. It’s the story of redemption. It’s the story of the cross. And it’s the story I need to have read to me over and over and over and over because when I put it back on the shelf I forget how the ending goes. In Christ alone.