I’m really thankful that more and more Christians are willing to shed false positivity and embrace lament.
Because the truth is lots of stories this side of eternity end in tragedy or at least unmet expectations and sorrow instead of glorious, victorious sunshine and roses.
Crops and marriages fail. Dreams come and go.
We hope for healing but don’t receive it.
Loved ones die.
Let’s just be honest about it-about ALL of it.
In the wake of burying Dominic, the most difficult spiritual discipline for me to recover has been prayer.
In part because my heart just doesn’t know what to ask for or how to talk to a God Who has allowed this pain in my life.
In part because I don’t really have a framework for placing the prayers I want to pray inside my ongoing struggle to commit my future and the future of my family to the hands of a Father Who didn’t step in to prevent Dominic’s death.
“The worst conceivable thing has happened, and it has been mended…All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” ~Julian of Norwich
I’m not sure when I first read this quote, but it came to my mind that awful morning. And I played it over and over in my head, reassuring my broken heart that indeed, the worst had already happened, and been mended.
Death had died.
Christ was risen-the firstfruits of many brethren.
One of the magical aspects of sunflowers is how they move through the day to always face the sun.
Like other plants, they depend on light to make their food but unlike others, they seem intent on thanking the source.
I am always encouraged when I pass a patch of sunflowers standing stalwart, saluting in unison the life-giving rays. They remind me that I am just as dependent as they are.
I can’t draw breath without the light and life of Christ in me.
But I forget that sometimes.
Clouds of sadness and despair obscure my vision and I’m tempted to turn away. Life gets hard and I wonder why it has to be like that. Responsibility grows heavy and I can’t lift my head.
So I lose sight of the Son-who He is, what He’s done and how He continues to sustain me even when I can neither see it or feel it.
It’s just then I need to turn toward Him.
It’s that very moment I require extra grace to look up (which He supplies) and extra faith (which He endows) to see clearly.
When I do, He always renews my strength.
“Don’t you know? Haven’t you been listening? Yahweh is the one and only everlasting God, the Creator of all you can see and imagine! He never gets weary or worn out. His intelligence is unlimited; he is never puzzled over what to do! He empowers the feeble and infuses the powerless with increasing strength. Even young people faint and get exhausted; athletic ones may stumble and fall. But those who wait for Yahweh’s grace will experience divine strength. They will rise up on soaring wings and fly like eagles, run their race without growing weary, and walk through life without giving up.”