One Day Closer

“One day closer…” he said.

Walking to work early in the morning and seeing the first light of a new day dawning. The immense beauty of God’s creation on display. And joy overwhelming. Reminding him – we are one day closer. Thank you, dear friend. For the reminder. At first, I was worried about your emotional state – but then I realized the gorgeousness of this simple phrase. (Thank you, Norm Grube!)

“One day closer.”

I’ve written plenty about my own suffering. Skating so close to the edge of self-pity that I’ve fallen and become bored of myself. Suffering is a common condition in the human experience. We all suffer.

But then a week like this past one comes along. And you recognize how MUCH it’s not about you.

Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Refugees. Conflict. Hatred. Dishonor. Lack of character in leadership.

And so much helplessness.

What can we do?

Pray?

Seems so little.

Give?

Again – a drop in the bucket.

Now, what about when it hits closer to home?

 

One friend suffering in addiction.

Another so lonely that life seems too much and she wants it to end.

And then the oldest, dearest, most joyful and beautiful friend receiving uncertain news about her health. (Oh God! Hasn’t she been through enough?)

Then lastly, the precious parent. So, beautiful. So, loved. Fearing the future. Is this a temporary thing or is the new reality?

Lord Jesus Christ! Have mercy on us!

What do we do?

Pray? Yes. Yes. Yes! Always pray. Be in communion with the One who loves us – ALWAYS.

But beyond that, what do we do?

Be reminded: we are one day closer.

 

One day closer when the suffering will end.

One day closer to the perfect story finally reaching its climax.

One day closer to unexplainable joy, peace that goes beyond all understanding and most of all: Love.

Love that surpasses anything this world offers. Love forever.

And it’s that love. The unbelievable, unconditional, indescribable, all-encompassing love that gives us one more gift:

Hope.

In the beauty of the creation around us.

In limiting the number of our days, so sin can’t rule us for too long.

We are thankfully and gracefully, one day closer You. Eternally You.

 

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Some of us have been dealt a pretty crappy hand of cards in this life. Can I just say that right off the bat?!

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Forsaken

(Note: I’ve been reading through some of my summer posts and wow! Raw, but often a downer! Quite frankly, I am getting tired of myself! So to end off the season of my discontent I am publishing an older post. As we head into my favourite time of year I am hoping to explore the joy of life and the power of waiting on God’s best plan! Yippee!!)

 

Do you ever feel it?

That deep, deep disappointment with life? And maybe even with God?

Good Christians don’t want to admit it, but I’ll bet you it’s there. The desperate plea. The sorrow and suffering. The idea that “this” isn’t what we signed up for.

I felt it today. No reason. No cataclysmic event prompted it.

Sad. Lonely. Wondering when. Longing for heaven. For the pain to ease.

“My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?”

Am I not enough? Obedient enough? Strong enough? Disciplined enough?

For me it’s doing life alone. It was never my dream. For you it might be doing it with the wrong person. Or maybe that person is right, but never at the same time as you.

Maybe it’s not about a person at all. Maybe it’s your job. Or disability. Or sickness.

Maybe it’s unmet needs. Where you must, must, must have more, but it’s inaccessible.

Maybe it’s nothing concrete, rather a darkness, a fear, a doubt. Everything looks great from the outside, but inside it’s empty.

What do we do then? Do we abandon God and force our way into what we think we want? What we think we need? I’ve done it. It doesn’t work. Or rather it works for a while, but then it falls apart. And more brokenness occurs.

The truth (sadly) is we live in a broken world filled with sin. Some desires may never be met. Some relationships will be broken. Some darkness may lie in wait until we shrug off the corporeal.

What then?

Where do we go from there?

Eucharisteo. (Thanksgiving.)

“Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle.” Ann Voscamp 

Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle.

What we realize is the miracle may not be (or ever be) what we deeply hope for. Yet it is always what we need.

Today my miracle was not my heart’s desire. Rather it was agreement. It was an important person in my life agreeing with me.  A person saying to me that they concurred – my pain was valid. My heart had every right to be broken. My situation sucked.

And, in that agreement, came the miracle. Not the outcome I desired, but the reality that I wasn’t in this alone.

And sometimes amid it all, that is enough.

 

 

Hand Gestures and the Relationally Stunted Single Girl

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I flipped my friend the bird last night.

That’s right, my Christian friends, I am human.

Let me put it into context: I had a friend over for coffee last night. During our conversation, I made several comments about being single (no, I was NOT hitting on him by letting him know my availability. However, I may have unknowingly done this to others in that past… meh, whatever…) to explain my ignorance of all things relationship. I suppose I used the “single” word too many times. He commented sarcastically.

So, I gave him the one finger salute.

My moral compass regarding hand gestures aside, it made me wonder: am I relationally brainless?

I’ve always learned best by doing and relationships are something I haven’t had a lot of practice with. The experience I have had is limited. I suppose I am socially stunted in this regard.

Is that a bad thing?  I mean, I don’t have a ton of baggage. That’s gotta be a plus!

In all seriousness, does experience qualify us for success in future relationships?

 

(Comments, questions and all matter of polite conversation welcomed in the comment section!)