Throughout my life I’ve heard about, witnessed and endured a fair share of tragedies. All I have to do is turn on the evening news for a half an hour and I hear the stories of all the people who were killed, murdered, abused, and wronged throughout the past week, tied in with some sports and weather. Entire programs are focused on incidents of evil and hatred either real or fictional — Unsolved Mysteries, America’s Most Wanted, Criminal Minds, CSI.
I only hear about the incidents themselves — nothing past them. They sadden me and at times make me angry, cynical or fearful. Rarely is it ever reported about how God stepped in and salvaged the wreckage and created beauty from dust aka abject misery. Based on the way that that information is fed, it’s easy for me to get caught into the trap of believing “that’s all it is” for those people–shattered, ruined lives. Sadly enough, maybe it is. Maybe they don’t believe there could be anything else. If I don’t believe it and I’m not looking for it, chances are, it won’t be there. Instead, I have faith that God does not and will not leave me in a heap during those moments of despair even though that’s how it might appear at first. He’s right there with His arms outstretched waiting for me to reach for Him. He loves me! AND YOU!
If I feel that nothing good has come forth from any given failure, affliction, or cataclysmic loss that I’ve endured, either I’m not looking hard enough or I’m being impatient, expecting God to operate on my watch. The beauty WILL come sometimes immediately other times in years to come. I have absolute faith, hope and trust in that! I will never forget something my Dad said to me many years ago as we were driving away from the gazebo where I had just parted with my birth daughter. Through my blur of tears and the boulder in my throat, I managed to smile when he reminded me,”This isn’t the end of the story, Lis! It’s just the beginning!” You were so right, Dad! Just the beginning, indeed!!
Sometimes in my darker moments while in conversation/prayer with God I’ll catch myself trying to explain my love for Nora pleading for more time with her, “I love this baby soooo much, God… You couldn’t even believe how much!!” And as soon as that phrase, or the like, is uttered I can imagine God laughing with raised eyebrows, “Seriously, Aleisa?” That’s pretty much like telling Thomas Edison that he doesn’t know how the light bulb works (if he were still living…). OF COURSE God can believe and understand how much I love Nora!! He is the inventor and author of love! Our capacity to love is only a fraction of the real deal.
I think of the love I have for my big kids (because that’s really the only way I can try to comprehend God’s love for us, His children). I love my kids, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to spoil them and give them what ever they want, follow them around picking up every little mess they might make, essentially a slave to them. I have a greater image in mind. I know that they’re going to grow up someday. They need to learn how to become productive members of society. They need to learn several life lessons and basic survival skills. Those lessons aren’t always easy. There will be moments of pain and suffering, as they would perceive it – but that’s what will mold them into who they will become. I’d like to have my kids happy and content all the time, but I’d be doing them a terrible injustice if I gave them what ever they wanted when ever they wanted it (think Veruca Salt). In the way that I believe I know what is best for my kids, I will TRUST that God knows what is best for me. He might assign some very difficult tasks, but it will mold me into someone much better than I am today. After my tears are all wiped away and I’m finished pouting, maybe God will “take me out for ice cream” later.
Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.
(Psalm 31:24 NIV)
Nora seems to be doing well with the Zantac! Just a lazy day here at home!