(This is another post by my amazing wife as she shares her thoughts on the journey we’re on. Once again, I am so thankful for her willingness to step into this and open her heart up)
I’ve been in complete denial.
You see, just about eleven months ago I had one of those milestone birthdays. Yep, the big 4-0!!! Although, I think my denial started prior to that birthday, it only intensified once it rolled around. At first, I blamed it on poor lighting, microscopic print or an eyelash in my eye, but no matter how hard I strained or squinted, the letters and words on the page would NOT snap into focus.
Even though I’ve worn contacts since high school my suspicions were confirmed after a recent routine eye exam: it was time for a pair of “readers”. Blegh! Already? I thought I had at least a few more years to go! So over the last couple of weeks I’ve been adjusting to this new accessory of sorts. I’m armed and ready with several pair, stashed in various spots, I can pull out in a moments notice in order to see clearly!
This minor little thing has been only one of the many adjustments and changes over the last year. Boy, there’s been so many! Some big, some small. Lots of ups and lots of downs. It’s been a crazy ride! And to be honest, I’m tired. I’m ready for the ride to be over. We all are. I read it on the pages of my journal, I see it on Matt’s face and I hear it in my kiddo’s voices.
I told a dear friend the other day, as much as I’m grateful for God’s Word and the confirmation and encouragement it brings, I find myself feeling like it’s “all talk and no action”. (And yes, I’ve taken that complaint to God, too!) We continue to seek, pray and wait and nothing is happening. Sure, it’s been all the right verses at all the right times but I want to SEE something! Show… me… the ACTION! I want something tangible.
We’ve taken steps of faith. We’ve tried to follow His leading and obey His call. We left when He said “go”. So, now what? “When, Lord? When will all the pieces start to fall into place? You do remember that there’s the matter of a job, a house, and a life to settle into, right?”
And then one day last week, He led me to Psalm 119, verses 81-82 (NLT):
“I’m worn out from waiting for Your rescue,
but I have put my hope in Your word.
My eyes are straining to see Your promises come true.
When will You comfort me?”
Oh My Goodness!!! Yes, yes, yes! I’m worn out. I’m straining to see Your plans unfold, Lord! The plans You have for me and my family. Just as I strained to see those words on the page without my readers I’m desperately looking for the next step. Left or right? But I feel like everything is so out of focus right now. No matter how hard I try to make sense of it all or will things into motion, everything continues to be hazy and fuzzy without a clear answer in sight. And yet a couple days later, He reminded me in John 20 that in His timing all WILL be seen.
The passage tells us it was the Sunday after Jesus had been crucified and died a horrible, brutal death. His disciples, undeniably, were confused, full of doubts, grieving, and striving to understand what they had just experienced. It’s in the midst of all their emotions God allows them to see the tangible.
They saw… the stone rolled away.
They saw… the empty tomb.
They saw… the linen wrappings and the folded head cloth.
They saw… the two angels.
They saw… the one they thought was a gardener.
They… saw… JESUS!
Just a few days ago He was dead yet there He was living and breathing! He had conquered death and escaped it’s grip to offer them a chance to see and believe! He even made an appearance to doubting Thomas, the one who would not believe unless he saw the nail scarred hands and pierced side. Jesus let Thomas see the tangible and urged him to be faithless no more. Just believe! In fact, in that moment He gave a promise to those of us who didn’t physically see that day. “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20: 29).
It was then in my Thomas-like doubt and confusion He came renewing and filling me with a fresh hope. Jesus reminded me in the midst of all my straining to see, He is my tangible! He knows our needs and even our wants and His plan will be revealed in due time. His time.
I’m not guaranteed an answer to every question I pose and I may not even understand it all this side of eternity, but I know The One who does, and I can trust Him.
As we prepared to take Communion at church on Sunday, I couldn’t help but smile as our pastor invited the congregation to “feast on the tangible”. The bread and the wine representing His body and blood. Ordinary elements so simple yet so profound. Something right in front of my eyes to remind me/us what He did, giving strength and power to keep going on. If He loves us so much to lay down His life and then raise it up again, surely He can light the path before us and set it all into motion at the right time.
And I think in my straining to see, He’s giving me the grace to begin to see clearly.