Wednesday, November 26, 2014

From a Distance

People say "the grass is always greener on the other side." Maybe i'm too practical, but i've not been one to fall for that. I guess i'm a realist that leans toward pessimism ever so slightly. My glass is never half full OR half empty. It just... is. You know? It has some. And that's always been enough for me.

For example, growing up, i wanted out of the city and away from the cold. Too many people, too much winter, get me outta there! My parents would say, "the grass is always greener on the other side." For most people, maybe, but not for me. I hightailed it away from the city and the cold the first chance i got and i haven't regretted it. :)

Some people going through a difficult marriage or on the other side of a divorce can't wait to find "someone different" that they can be happy with because they are sure it is out there. And maybe it is, for some. But for me, i'm not interested.

You see, from a distance, a dirty pond looks inviting.
From a distance, a dusty mantle can look clean.
From a distance, a McDonald's Playplace even looks clean! (And i can tell you from experience that there are suspicious puddles and mystery crumbs up in those tunnels! Blech!)

So we get confused. We get antsy for something to change. And we start looking around, judging what we see... from a distance.

Our lives look confusing and tumultuous at times, and an escape looks inviting. Because we can't get the right perspective. We're too entrenched in the mire of the mess. We don't have the ability to step outside our situation and see what the Big Picture is.

But God does.

And even though He has given us the Holy Spirit to keep us company in the midst of our circumstances, He sits at a distance, weighing the tough experiences with the blessings, the struggles with the victories, and the hurdles with the finish line. You see, God doesn't have narrow vision, He is never near-sighted like we are. And when i want my struggle to end, when i honestly feel like i am drowning in the pit of my own circumstances, God knows that just around the corner is something amazing. And He also knows that every time He brings me out of darkness into the light again, my joy is less subject to the enemy's schemes, my faith is stronger, and my desire to thrive during tough times is greater than before.

From a distance, this life is a blip. Up close, it's messy. How i use my blip matters, but it is Who i follow through the messes that will make or break me day after day. And even though today is a rough day and i feel broken and hopeless, i am trying to look up because i know that to my Father in Heaven, my current circumstances are just a moment in the Big Picture of what God is doing in my life. And even though i only see the mess, God sees the masterpiece that is coming.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Why I Weep

There's an old hymn called "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" that popped into my head this morning. The refrain that goes "I sing because i'm happy; I sing because i'm free" was the part that i was reminded of. Not because i was singing it or humming it, not because i had heard it recently somewhere. It popped into my head because i found myself weeping at the Christmas Story once again. And i wondered to to myself, why am i crying over this every year?

And as i let that question marinade in my heart, an answer was given in the depths of my being....

i weep because i know.
i know what it is like to wait for God to send help.
And i know what it is like to doubt that He ever will.
i know what it is like to know the pure joy of finally receiving that help.
i know what it is like to face persecution.
i know what it is like to suffer trials.

And God sent His Son to us so that all of that might not be in vain! He sent us Jesus so that all of the hardships of this life don't have to steal our joy or derail us from an eternity in Heaven.

So i weep.
Because my Savior suffered. For me.
Because Mary, long ago, delivered a son she would have to watch suffer and die. For me.
Because i am a sinner who needed a Savior to stand the gap. For me.
And because i never want to take it for granted.

So. I weep. Often. And without shame. Because Jesus has my whole heart, and He has done so much for me already (before i even drew my first breath, He has suffered and died for me!).

Maybe i'll write a hymn. :)