Thursday, October 18, 2018

I Want What You Want

Dear God, I just want what You want. 
Is that too much to ask?
I'd like to have it tomorrow, 
And wrapped in green with a bow 
But I'm sure that won't be a problem. 

I just want what You want, God. 
Your way is always best. 
I'm pretty sure the path will have
These turns and those bumps
But of course, You're the one in control. 

I truly want what You want, God. 
It's so hard to sit and wait patiently.
While I wait I'll just paint in a few ideas, 
Get a picture of how this might look
But I'm waiting on You, really. 

O Father God, I just want what You want.
I know You have it all in Your hand. 

You might use red
With brown string?
There's a good chance 
Of steep hills
And deep valleys?
You threw all my
Pretty pictures
In the trash?

Well, yes.
Of course. 
That's what I said.
I want what You want...
I think. 

What is that?
That's not how wanting what 
You want looks?
Oh. Yeah, I did say I would make myself 

That's not what making 
Myself available means?

You're saying being available
Means letting You choose the colors
And paint the pictures?
It means allowing You to
Map out the terrain?

Oh, I see. 

But You care about me?
You know my needs better than I do?
You see the future?
You have my best in mind?
I can trust You, right?

Yes, Father, yes. 
I believe you. 
I really am making myself available. 
I confess I have no idea 
What that might look like,
But I want what You want. 


Friday, October 5, 2018

A Blanket, The Sun, and Redemption

"Oh, oh. Get ready! Here it comes!" Convulsive giggles and frantic wiggling ensued in the seat behind me. "Put up the blanket! There's the sun!"

We were on a simple, evening drive and my three youngest had turned holding a blanket we would need at our destination into a thrilling game of be-prepared-to-block-the-sun-when-it-shines-into-our-faces. You would have thought it was the most exciting activity they had ever taken part in, judging by the shrieks and laughter it produced.

My husband and I exchanged amused smiles. "A child's life is so exciting," I commented quietly.

That incident was weeks ago but it's returned to my mind often. Here's why -- what if 'becoming as little children' means living like that?

Little children bounce; they sparkle, have you noticed? Jerking a blanket over your face every time the sun peaks through the trees is thrilling as you drive along on a summer evening! To big people it's an annoying bother - the sun in your eyes and a visor that doesn't provide enough shade. At what point, exactly, do we lose the sparkle, I wonder? The bounce? What changes when little people get big?

Us big people, we know a lot, don't we? We've known a lot more pain, a lot more heartache; we've shed a lot more tears. As the years stack up, so do the losses. We've said more goodbyes, let go of more dreams, picked up more broken pieces. With the knowing comes a little less bounce, a little less sparkle, a little less child-like-ness. And sometimes, if we're not careful, the pain of this world looms bigger than the God who promises redemption.

"How is it that the sun keeps shining in times of devastating loss? Or that the waves roll in, robust as ever, and tea kettles whistle, and people go to work? Maybe God is saying that death <loss> is real but so is life, and even in the most black and empty days of death, life keeps nosing in, reminding. He is the resurrection and the life. He will win."       ~Dorcas Smucker

 Lately I've found myself grieving so much loss and pain -- my own, my friend's, my family member's. Sometimes the pain of life feels crushing and there is healing in tears and grief. But the bounce and sparkle of a child keep coming back to my mind's eye; the wonder and joy found in simple blankets and sun in the eyes. What good is the resurrection and the life if I live my days under the cloud of loss and pain? If the theme of God's story is redemption, shouldn't the bounce and sparkle of a child line my clouds?

The brokenness of this world is reality; just because we are His doesn't erase the effects of sin and death in our lives. But let's not forget to pause often and view life through the eyes of a child. There is wonder in the sunset, joy in service, sparkle in a hug, bounce in shared laughter, hilarity in a blanket and the sun; don't miss it.

No matter what losses we face, no matter how devastating our road, He is the resurrection and the life.

He will win.