I picked this book up on a whim sometime last year not knowing how wonderful and insightful and helpful it would be as I hurtle toward the eight year mark of Dom’s leaving for Heaven.
Yet every single day when I turn the page to the next discussion and reflection there is a fresh awakening in my spirit to something I need to explore.
I understand how a heart wants to wall itself off after prayers go unanswered (please don’t regale me with, “But they are all eventually answered”); plans fall apart; others’ sinful actions pound a soul to dust; and lives sacrificially poured out on the table of service are abruptly and unceremoniously cut short.
Why hope if hope is never realized (on this mortal plane)?
In this, Jesus’ actions, words and attitude during Holy Week help me choose another path.
The crowd that welcomed Him turned against Him a few days later. The apostles that promised fidelity unto death ran away. Judas ate the sacred meal with betrayal in his heart.
And yet Jesus remained present to the moment. He accepted events as they came. He welcomed people as they were.
And He trusted His Father even when the cup was too bitter for Him to raise it to His own lips.
I have had to make the choice again and again to hold tightly to the Hand that could have saved my child but didn’t.
There may be some among my friends who never share this struggle-I’m genuinely happy for you.
But that’s not me. Some days I can pray with confidence.
Some days I can’t pray at all.
But I’m working hard not to let go.
Crazily enough, favor is not what frees us from self-protection: suffering is. Not suffering itself, but the choice within suffering to trust, to hope and to love….Today, ask the Holy Spirit to alert you when you are shrinking back from God.Alicia Britt Chole
**As promised, I am sharing thoughts on 40 DAYS OF DECREASE (a Lenten journal/devotional). If you choose to get and use the book yourself, I’ll be a day behind in sharing so as not to influence anyone else’s experience.**