I’ve been wanting to blog this week, but it has been a hard one and I have been at a loss for words. It seems like I keep saying that, week after week. But it keeps being true, week after week! It has been a hard year. I had hoped that “birthday week” back in June would have been the cap to our hard year; the ending of a chapter. But that hasn’t been the case. And that’s okay.
Our family is going through some difficult, private struggles. I don’t feel a peace about sharing details here on the blog, which has been difficult since I am used to being so candid here. I’m no good at compartmentalizing, so it has been hard to write at all, if not about that.
It has been a long, hard season, and I welcome its ending, but there have been lots of learning moments, growing moments, humbling moments, and redemptive, grace-filled moments.
There is an excerpt from a favorite devotional that I think I’ve shared here before. It is especially convicting this morning, and since I’m short on my own words, this feels appropriate:
Whenever my faith has been shaken, it has inevitably been when I have tried “resting in circumstances” rather than “resting in the character of God.” Something in my brain keeps advancing the “if only lie.” If only I had more energy; if only I had more time; if only my children would…” Even in good times, I can always come up with another if only. But Jesus doesn’t promise to rearrange our circumstances, to smooth everything out for us. That’s not what we put our faith in. In fact Jesus once remarked that each day has enough trouble of its own.
Resting in our circumstances, then, is like trying to relax on a bed of nails or on the deck of a ship that is being tossed about on a roiling ocean. A sudden surge and we’re likely to be pitched overboard. We know that circumstances can change in an instant. The only thing that will never change is God’s character, his intentions, his heart. That’s the stable foundation on which we can rest.
But what does that mean practically speaking? At the least it means that I have to act as though I believe God is faithful, as though his intentions toward me are always good and never evil. I put my faith in Him. I act with faithfulness toward Him, obeying His commands, yielding to His guidance.
The letter to the Hebrews tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). That’s a simple statement of fact, like saying that without air it’s impossible to breathe, without food you can’t survive, or when your eyes are closed you can’t see. Faith opens our eyes to the goodness and trustworthiness of God. We live by faith and not by sight. There is no other way, no other promise, no other strategy that will yield the life we desire, the life we were meant to live.
Ann Spangler in The Tender Words of God, pg. 212-213
Did you get to see the eclipse on Monday? We live in the path of totality, and it was absolutely amazing. It was a breathtaking experience. The next day my dad was on the golf course, and sent me this picture:
The God who created THAT, and the God who orchestrated the awesome eclipse we were able to witness on Monday, THAT is the God who holds our todays and our tomorrows in His hands. And that God is greater than THESE circumstances.