Saturday, October 13, 2012
For the Hard Times
I stare out the morning window, the outline of my tired head stares back at me, sticky-up hair all out of place, crazy. The sun isn't quite up yet. Just the beginning of pink light on the horizon ready to set the world a blaze in autumn's hues. I inhale slowly and in blessed relief give thanks that this slow rising happens every morning, even when the dark seems all consuming. I wrap my hands a bit tighter around my warm cup and my head rushes forward into the day. Even though the house is quiet, I am rushing around in my head like things are in full swing already. My feet have hardly moved but my soul is rumbling.
My soul is rumbling because the events of the past week have left me weak and thirsty to my core for some divine reassurance.
In the pre-dawn dark of Tuesday morning I was awakened by Todd shouting, "Kim, the neighbor's house is on fire! I'm calling 911!" What in the world?? I thought as I struggled to lift sleep's daze from my mind. Before I even fully came to, I could smell the smoke seeping through open windows in the boys' rooms. The commotion roused everyone from sleep and in moments we all stood in front of the windows with mouths agape and hearts praying as we could easily see the orange flames light up the interior of their house. Such an eery, helpless feeling to just sit and watch a dream, quite literally, go up in smoke. Fortunately this house is under construction and no one lives there. The family was scheduled to close on it and move in in just a couple of weeks. Their dreams of being in their new home for the holidays will have to wait until spring as the entire interior will have to be gutted and rebuilt.
Wednesday evening, Todd interrupted my work out with a breaking news story from our area. A 10-year old girl was abducted on her way to school earlier in the week and he wanted to let me know she had been found. In a field, in pieces, 1/2 mile from our house. My soul is still rumbling as I struggle to wrap my mind around how something so sick and twisted happens to someone so innocent. It's like the fingers of hell reached right up through the ground and grabbed her. Her life was snuffed out and the the entire community has been launched into a place of fear and anxiety. I am angry. I am angry that her mother will never be able to hold her again, to kiss her and tell her how sorry she is. To let her know that even the next breath feels impossible to take without her.
And dare I say it? I questioned deep inside myself, where was God?
Mercifully, the Lord whispers His presence over me. He calls me back into this moment and reminds me that He called the light day and the dark night. He spoke the days into being, just one at a time. He reminds me that His mercies are new every morning and that He alone can make beauty from ashes. He reminds me that when I am weak, He is my strength. He is my rock and my shelter from the storm.
He is my deliverer and that little girl's deliverer as well.
And so I stand there next to the window, pink sky lighting up with each passing moment and I feel a bit guilty because I am a Christian and Christians aren't supposed to have fear or anxieties, right? I want to ignore the anxiety and fear and not let them rise to the surface. But I must let them rise up so I can release them into His hands. Speak the fear out loud, so that He can speak truth. I know I have a God who can handle it.
I set my cup on the counter, breathe in deep the fresh air of a new day, pray without words to a God who knows. Much like a sunrise, truth can be a slow rising, but as each moment weaves itself into the next, as we believe in the great right now, His truth becomes a strand woven into the fabric of our minutes. This moment living reminds me of who is small, who is in control and who isn't. It reminds me of my desperate need for a source outside myself. I can trust in the One True God. He alone is enough. For today and tomorrow and every day after. The condition of the world, the depravity of humanity, the circumstances of my life or the rumblings of my soul can or will ever define Him. He is unchanging and for that I am so grateful.