“I have told you this so that you might have peace
in me. In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.” John 16:33
He said it again. When life throws my husband a curve ball, Mike usually responds by observing, “God sure has a sense of humor!” I admit that my response differs a bit from Mike’s when I’m the recipient of that curve ball. Though I tend to keep my initial reactions to trauma to myself, I’m sorry to admit that the tone of my recent posts indicates otherwise. You see, there is usually too much to do for me to allow myself the luxury of complaining aloud. However, during this stay-in-place era, I’ve had plenty of time to do just that.
Fortunately, something -or Someone- drew my attention elsewhere. I finally responded by turning my eyes upward to converse with the Lord God. After having my say with the One who I know always listens, I began to reconcile myself to the situation at hand. I actually calmed myself enough to discuss the current curve ball in our midst with a bit of calm. I closed that conversation with my own observation: “This is just a small reminder that we’re not in heaven yet.”
Though curve balls continue to fly fast and furiously, God is even more persistent in lingering around us. Though havoc reigns outside of us, God’s gentle peace calms us from within. Even when we fail to notice God’s presence for far too long, God remains…
Consoling God, knowing that your care is a constant makes all of the difference in our suffering world.
“For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
From Matthew 7:7-12
Monday’s Memorial Day observances brought to mind the many loved ones I have lost. Over the past few years, my family and I endured the particularly difficult losses of three cousins who were siblings. These cousins are three of five children who lost their parents at ages 49 and 50 within several weeks of one another. The older children who were only in their twenties took in the younger children who were just eleven and fifteen. In the end, they became closer than ever before, forming seemingly indestructible family bonds. A severe blow came when their eldest sister succumbed to ovarian cancer. The others weathered this loss together, forging ever stronger bonds. Two years later, their next elder sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Only months after that, their younger brother received a devastating diagnosis of his own.
It seems to me that this family had every right to turn to despair as their usually optimistic outlooks seemed not to serve them well. Yet, the opposite was true. Thoughout their uncertainty, though their optimism was sorely tested, their positive approach to this life remained as strong as ever. Anyone of them will tell you that they were given all that they needed to get through each day, each hour and each minute of their suffering and loss. All along, they remained grateful for one another and for their unshakable faith in the things to come.
Compassionate God, I fretted a good deal for my cousins. Good parent that you are to them, you understand better than I what they endured. While my three cousins enjoy eternal life with you, please bless their brother and sister here with ongoing hope and trust in you. Keep them and all of us in your loving care.