Saturday, June 28, 2014

Suddenly a Storm

Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, 
with waves breaking into the boat.
 But Jesus was sleeping.
Matthew 8:24
When the disciples set out on the lake,
I am guessing the water was calm.
Maybe the sun was shining and all was well.
It says that “suddenly” a storm struck.

I just had a day like that.
I “got in the boat” in the morning and all was well.
“Suddenly” a storm struck.
You know those storms that come out of nowhere.
The ones that weren’t in the forecast,
and then, bam, roaring tides and rushing wind.

Over the past months, I have been pondering 
the words broken, letting go, imperfect, forward.
I have been allowing Jesus to show me
how to be at peace with brokenness,
how to let go of things I cannot change,
and how to find beauty in flawed things.

In the middle of a day when I was thinking
that maybe I was ok with broken,
a storm suddenly comes up.
I am confronted with a brokenness in another
that I was part of unknowingly causing.
The boat is thrashing around and
I am not ok.
As I try to figure out how what to do,
I come to two conclusions.
I know how to say I was wrong.
I don’t know how to control their response.
Because I can’t.
I ask Jesus for a large dose of mercy.
He tells me I have to be at peace.
No matter what they do.

He tells me to lie down and take a nap.
It seems the craziest thing to do.
"You stress out because you're not in control.
There is not only peace for being wronged;
My peace is also there when you are wrong.
You just have to be willing to wait in the pain."

Taking a nap in the midst of the storm
might just be where the strength comes
to live in brokenness and wait in the pain.
He still controls the wind and the waves,
and we can trust He is in the storm with us.

Trust gives me the courage I need
to be at peace in the storm.
I never realized how much courage
it would take to be at peace
with brokenness.

Monday, June 16, 2014

I Don't Know

Sometimes in the morning, 
I stumble across a Scripture, 
a Facebook quote, 
a Pinterest post,
and I'm filled with a nugget of wisdom,
a moment of inspiration, a smile.
 “We are all citizens of heaven.” Phil 3
Stop thinking low earth thoughts.
 "There is a crack in everything, 
it's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen
Cracks can be beautiful.
 “It’s always disappointing when
a liar’s pants don’t actually catch on fire.”
Sometimes you just need to smile.

"There is a crack in everything, 
it's how the light gets in."
But that is one viewpoint, 
the one I can see in the morning 
when my mind is thinking clearly.
The other is that the thing is broken.
When we are at our most vulnerable,
often in the middle of our everyday life,
we are very aware of the crack—
the thing that feels wrong.
We used to have what seemed this 
perfectly good “thing,” and now it is broken.
It takes time to recover when things break
and get to the point where we can find 
something good about whatever is broken.
So, the Lord graciously gives us 
snippets of wisdom along the way.
“Don't dwell on earthly things.
As a citizen of heaven,
can you change how you see this?
Thinking from My perspective is better.”

So, I need to remember to ask “how?”
How does Your light want to come through
the broken things I find myself facing?
Even the broken places of my own life?
I am fighting for Your truth to come through
because everything in me wants to say
that cracked vessels sink and
I feel very much like a citizen of earth today.

He reminds me that His goodness 
and unfailing love pursue me every day 
and that He has a banqueting table
set up in the midst of my enemies.
I cling to those words like life preservers
and declare them to be Truth.
The lies of my enemy lose some power.
And I imagine that their little pants 
perhaps have just caught on fire.
Thank you, Pinterest.

I am beginning to see that, for me,
 "not knowing" is a crack 
that is letting light in.
And despite what we might 
have been told...
sometimes "I don't know" 
IS the answer.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Say What You Can

What do you say when 
you have nothing to say?
Like, nothing.
For almost two weeks, I have not been able 
to gather a cohesive thought.
At this season, I cannot force things.
Perhaps tomorrow it will be easier.
But today all I can say is 
this season has been challenging.
There has been some loss, some pain,
some death, some tears.
And there are days when all you know 
is that everything seems wrong.
And you know that you have to allow God
to lead you through this dark place.
Not necessarily because your faith is great,
but because your life depends on it.

Many are going through a change of season,
a time of transition, a twist in the narrative.
It feels a little like what 
the author of Lamentations described:
"He has led me into darkness, 
shutting out all light."
I really do trust Him.
But the questions can be haunting
and the lack of answers daunting.
I have heard Him say repeatedly,
"My mercy and grace are your guides.
Rest in Me. Rest in My love."

And I tried asking Him, For how long?
He interrupted my thinking immediately.
"Is eternity too long?
Because these transitions 
lead you to the next chapter.
And the one after that. And so on.
This is all part of the narrative, 
the great story being told
from My perspective.
Like the great mysteries, fables
and well-crafted pieces of literature,
your life is story with loss and gain,
sadness and joy, death and resurrection.
It is the story of My life working in you
that My Kingdom might be 
demonstrated on earth.
Because it is about Me.

The characters in a story face challenges
and obstacles that allow them to become
at the end more than they were at the start.
You are being re-created to hold more life.
I am the Author and Finisher of your faith,
and you are not finished.
My mercies are new every morning.
My faithfulness and My love never end.
Say what you can until
you can say more.
I've got you."