Thursday’s Thread: When Change Hits

In every coming there is a going; in every joy we find a tear; in every departure there is an arrival; and in every birth there is a death.
Life is full of changes.
Not one season lasts very long. The young look for the days ahead while those aging are longing for days gone past.

As I’ve spent my days lately in the company of a hospital room,
I’ve been reminded of how every season ceases.
I’ve been surrounded by families longing for longer days as
I’ve witnessed tears of days growing shorter.
Yet I was recently reminded in my Dad’s current circumstances;
no life leaves this earth without an eternal effect.
Eternal lives not only live an eternity with Christ,
their fingerprints are forever seen and their blood continues to
flow through those dear to them who are left behind.

What our lives bring whether we are in the midst of the busyness
or whether it is spent in a hospital bed
-both hold a grandeur purpose.

When life is peering at death, we become revitalized in life.
In death, we enjoy life for what it was meant to be…
relationships become richer,
our divine purpose to glorify God suddenly gets reborn.

Our photographs, letters and memories of the
past uncover life to us in spaces forgotten by busyness and unrest.
Suddenly the riches of our legacy reveal the beauty of heritage and renew our investment in the now.
What once held antiquity holds fresh new meaning…
life continually becomes renewed day by day.

We find richness when every departure brings an arrival.

Although we can find this in our every day life,
we don’t notice it with the exuberance of life that we live
in the threat of sickness and suffering….

I’m reminded of this in communion…..
For it’s in Christ’s death we find life!
It brings us together in a significant way.
His death not reminding us of sadness, but of hope!

God is the God of life, not of death! 

And when we live in a close intimacy with God,
we will feel the pain of both death and loss.
Yet, it’s in this loss He gives us an ability to notice
the beauty of life
which surrounds us.

And in Jesus’ death even when earth turned into darkness,
He brought light and life into us.
Yet His need for death was found in His desire to free us from death.
He loved us so much that He was willing to die a death of horrible pain and loss
to bring us life and experience with us all the suffering of death.

So we don’t enter any step of life alone without His presence ….
every hard day He’s walked before us and remains WITH us.
Whether our days are spent in living or dying,
He sits with us!

What sometimes seems as if it’s the end is the beginning; what at first caused anxiety brings peace; and what seems to be hopeless is filled with hope.

When we look at life through the lens of a struggle,
we are able to find a door within a wall
and all God delivers beyond the door allows clarity to bring
the healing our hearts are searching for.

I suppose this is how it is in life, in the dark and hard times it’s hard to find the light, but it’s in the light we no longer remember the darkness. 

Thursday’s Thread: How Long?

This question is one we frequently ask.
And we ask it in a variety of situations.
We ask it of our kids, we ask it of people who want us to volunteer our time, we ask it of our doctor and we even ask it of God in the hardest of times…
wondering how long we’ll have to remain in our burden-ridden season.

It’s as if we think knowing the time line of our pain would make our hours of suffering somehow easier.

We cry out in prayer…
‘God how much longer?’

Yet would we really find peace in His reply?
I suppose an end date could bring some relief in the right setting, but it might also cause us to become discouraged and want to give up when we find out how much longer we would be remaining in it.

You see as we wait
time isn’t standing still,
life isn’t frozen,
and yet it’s in these seasons of waiting we can be certain
God is working!

When we only have the breath to breathe…
even then,
God is working, there in the depths of our souls.
Our fight through the difficult days may seem dark,
frustrating and sometimes overwhelming,
but rest knowing God is fighting harder for you
then even you are.

While we wait we must remind ourselves to
collect beautiful moments
we’ve be granted.

Because although we feel like we’re merely surviving,
God is doing His miracle work too!
Waiting is not intended for us to be
hyper-focused on what’s coming next
but is a generous gift given for us to live within.
God wastes nothing!
And He certainly doesn’t waste our time in the waiting rooms of our lives.

We must use this time to fully live.

My Dad and I have been having this conversation a lot lately.
We remind one another to live fully in each moment of each day as he’s courageously fighting cancer and for me as my life is experiencing loss.
You see we may not have control over many of the details that come into our daily lives but we do have the ability to choose what we do while we wait…,

In 2011, when I visited Joplin, MO. a horrific tornado had just violently swept through their town wiping out house after house.
As we were helping people gather their belongings that were strewn all over the streets, I came across a small piece of wood that had been swept into a pile of trash.
As I took a closer look at the green wooden sign it had the words ‘long suffering’ hand painted on it.

And I wondered….
‘how long’ it was going to take for this community to not only rebuild, but heal?
How long does it take for people to heal from this kind of loss and devastation?

That tiny piece of wood became a tangible definition of
‘long suffering’.

For I knew God would rebuild Joplin I had no doubt the perseverance of its community to thrive and endure.
But I knew it would come at a cost, for healing can take years.

We like instantaneous results, quick fixes, the fastest service we can get.
But when it comes to healing, it can’t be rushed it needs time.

We need time too….
Time for our wounds to heal….time for our brokenness to be restored….time for our relationships to experience reconciliation and time for God to do His mighty work!

It’s funny how the answer we seem to be desperate for really doesn’t matter…..
You see ‘how long’ may perhaps measure the length
of our difficult days, but it doesn’t
measure the strength & miracle-working power
God provides for us in those days.

This is worth our counting!

Because when we expend our energy
on counting God’s working in our suffering,
it’s here where
God gets reflected!

Rest with God
my weary friend.

Let Him work in the
tender places
of your heart where you’re needing
care and know at

just the right time
and in the exact moment,

He will bring about
relief & healing!