Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bad Week

It hasn’t been a good week. All Mondays seem a little hectic, but it was an unusually bleak Monday. Then the last two days haven’t gone so well either. It isn’t that it’s been anything big, or even that I’ve not flowed with the tide. It’s mainly been kind of annoying things. The A/C quit working in my room, but tonight’s cold front will solve that. And even Maggie, the smart board, just shut down today. I thought (only to myself), “Maggie, you’re almost brand new. You’re way too young to be going through menopause.”
Often, life just throws stuff at you, but seriously…when I thought about it, I just really wasn’t prepared very well for this week. I have a friend who periodically quotes his teacher mother saying, “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.” There’s a lot of truth to that. And I could have done a better job at that this week.
Then, sometimes things happen that there’s no preparation for. Never, never—in our craziest imaginations could we have ever guessed. Situations change; people change. And there we are, staring into space and wondering: How in the world did I end of here?
There are common answers for that: “We live in a fallen world.” “People make choices.” But, sometimes those just don’t seem to work for me. So, there we are, dealing with where we are.
When the A/C quits, it’s easy to open the windows and prop the door. When Maggie quits, you can always manipulate the screen with the computer mouse. If only life were so easy—
It’s not.
So, we pray and we keep walking. We lean on friends and we keep walking. We read our Bibles and we pray and we pray and we pray. And we keep walking.
We walk, we pray because we trust in the One who is never caught off guard. God, very God, is always prepared. And that’s how we walk through the mess, through years, and eventually right into eternity—where a place is prepared for us.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Moon

“Mah moo?” “mah moo” (my moon).
Between pizza, cars, books, and cookies, little William periodically took my hand and guided me to the kitchen window, raising his arms for me to lift him up to see the sliver of moon in the cold, black autumn sky.
At this point he still shares readily and isn’t too possessive—except that he believes the moon belongs to him. And beyond our reflections in the window, he points and repeats, “mah moo” in his soft, little voice.
According to Genesis God did give us the moon as a light in the night. And isn’t it amazing how it can reflect the sun’s rays from behind the earth, and brighten a shadowy world?
The moon may seem a little thing, but it is not. Though we’ve seen it from our earliest days, it’s a light in the darkness where there is no light; it guides the tides of the seas; it helps keep our world in place, and it piques the wonder of a small child.
The Elizabethans believed that the world was only fallen from the moon to the earth. Beyond the moon lay perfection, the realm of God and angels—as pure as the first breath of Creation’s moment.
But, God does not just reside beyond the moon. His omnipresence enfolds us, indwells us. It is a mystery. And His Spirit brings comfort and light—even if only a sliver—in the dark days—for days, too,  can be as black as a moonless sky.
To see the reflection of God through the wonder and eyes of a child—
Do you see? Do you see Him?
Lift your eyes tonight. Lift them to the night sky and remember, remember it’s a signature of his love in the dark. Look up and behold mah moo.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

When Prayer Doesn't Work

Sometimes, it seems we pray to a deaf ear. In the Old Testament, God often set Himself apart from the false gods of old—gods carved by the hands of man—with eyes that could not see, having ears that could not hear. Yet, I would venture to say we all have felt we’ve knelt before a mute statue—not of gold, but of our imagination. For each life must suffer our dark days if we live long enough. We desire to escape them, but it cannot be.
In my darkest moments, I’ve found myself sucking in the words of Scripture. I’ve walked through the leaves of fall and winter’s blasts—right into spring’s colorful burst. I’ve pondered questions of man’s choice and God’s control. I’ve wept through music and have doubted the very words I’ve spoken forth.
But, in the end I’ve always—eventually—turned my face upward.
I’ve walked a path that felt unsure. I’ve reached for hope in a clouded view.
Pastor Mark said to me one day, “There is always purpose in His sovereignty.” He neither dismissed our choices nor weakened God’s control.
There is purpose in God’s sovereignty, and so it is—that there is purpose in every dark night, in every twisted form. And because there is purpose, there is hope. And when we reach for hope in the darkness, we experience faith. In many ways, I guess, that’s when we experience faith the most.
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68