“Aren’t all these notes the senseless writings of a man who won’t accept the fact that there is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it?”
You are good, and do good;
Teach me Your statutes…
I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
Psalm 119:68, 75
It’s a bit tricky pulling in to one side of our garage, but in the ten years I’ve been driving, I’ve only once miscalculated. Even then I just barely touched our old Honda’s rubber bumper to the brick.
I was in a fog when I came home from church Sunday night, and for the first time I utterly blew the navigating and scraped one side of the car against the wooden garage door frame. To my horror, it didn’t just leave garage paint on the car, but it BENT the car door.
On Saturday, I may have finally accepted the conviction that I must rejoice even at the first sting of sorrow… but on Sunday when God tested my obedience, I fell over. Little sorrows had piled up, and I let them strangle my soul, hence my car-door-bending fog.
“There should be a statute of limitation on grief. A rulebook that says it is all right to wake up crying, but only for a month. That after 42 days you will no longer turn with your heart racing, certain you have heard her call out your name. That there will be no fine imposed if you feel the need to clean out her desk; take down her artwork from the refrigerator; turn over a school portrait as you pass – if only because it cuts you fresh again to see it. That it’s okay to measure the time she has been gone, the way we once measured her birthdays.”
― Jodi Picoult
It’s eleven months to the day that she left.
“Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.”
Yet. Small word with a big meaning: nevertheless, in spite of that, at the same time, be that as it may…
Oh, sorrowful Christian, lean on Jesus. He says to you, “If you love Me, lean hard.”
Seventeen years ago, God answered a prayer for me.
“Oh, that Christ were all and enough for me. He is supposed to be, and I dare not say, ‘Why hast Thou made me thus?’ Oh, to be swept away in a flood of consuming passion for Jesus that all desire might be sublimated to Him.”
What does it really mean, I wonder, to offer up the desires of your heart as a sacrifice to the Lord?
“My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.” –Psalm 5:3
I like the difference between these two pictures. I like their reminders. They were taken an hour apart the same afternoon.
“O thou so weary of thy self-denials,
And so impatient of thy little cross,
Is it so hard to bear thy daily trials,
And count all earthly things a gainful loss?
What if thou always suffer’st tribulation,
What if thy Christian warfare never cease?
The gaining of the quiet habitation
Shall gather thee to everlasting peace.”
A few days ago, a friend and I were both were bemoaning the fact that the closer we get to the Lord the higher the mountains and the deeper the valleys. We both wished for a break from the the growing, but we both know that not growing means drifting away. My friend shared something she had read recently about God sending us valleys after the mountains on purpose to keep us humble and close to Him.
… felt that little present difficulty more weighty than the great past difficulty out of which he had so specially been delivered. It is very usual for God’s people, when they have enjoyed a great deliverance, to find a little trouble too much for them. Samson slays a thousand Philistines, and piles them up in heaps, and then faints for a little water! …As if the Lord must teach us our littleness, our nothingness, in order to keep us within bounds…. God has many ways of humbling his people. Dear child of God, if after great mercy you are laid very low, your case is not an unusual one… So, tried brother, cheer your heart with Samson’s words, and rest assured that God will deliver you ere long.
“And He will come in His own time and power,
To set His earnest–hearted children free;
Watch only through this dark and painful hour,
And the bright morning yet will break for thee…”
“I love you, Jamie.”
Abide… It seems to be a theme You are impressing upon me.