Being a believer and follower of Christ… I have come to terms with the fact that, for now, we live in a broken and fallen world. I don’t like it, but I know that “It is what it is” (to quote my friend Bone Hampton – he says this phrase almost never follows anything good). But because my hope is in Christ and I know that this life and these circumstances are temporary – I wait. And I hope. And I wait.
But every once in awhile. I struggle. Not with doubt, but with patience. With not understanding why earthly restoration is taking… so… stinking… long. “Why Lord, why must You delay your coming back? Why must we wait any longer for You to make all things new and right again?”
Mostly I get like this when the brokenness hits close to home. Because my occupation is one that deals with some of the most broken places and people in the world… it’s important that I learn to sit in the “now and the not yet”. Reconciling current reality with a hope for the future. But I have to admit… this is easier when I don’t have a personal relationship with those who are suffering. I am moved by their photos, their stories, their pleas. But I am not usually undone by them.
But then things hit closer to home. Suddenly friends and family are in the fire. And I don’t like it. Not one bit.
I’m a fixer by nature. And when things are beyond my scope of abilities… I’m not happy. Arrogant, I know. And I’m especially frustrated when I am “reduced” to faith and praying. I say “reduced” in quotes because I know that faith and praying are elevated callings and are by no means considered a reduction. But my sinful nature wreaks havoc on my perspective… and I feel reduced. Oh yea, John 3:30 says “He must increase, and I must decrease.” I often (conveniently) forget that verse.
These last 2 weeks have weighed heavily on my heart. Many of the people I care very much for… have been suffering. And there’s nothing I can do about it. And my ugly arrogant pride rises up and wants to take action. But I’m learning to die to that. Learning to decrease so He will increase. It’s a life-long process, I’m afraid.
Here are some of the people I am praying for if you want to join me – though, I totally understand if you already have your own overwhelming list.
- Two young teens who I used to tutor just lost their sweet mama, Gwen, to a heart attack this past Sunday. They bury her tonight. Gwen was also an Aunt to one of the other students I tutored.
- Another friend called me to tell me that her dad was just diagnosed with cancer.
- Another friend’s mom passed away last week from Scleroderma. He buries her tomorrow.
- My own mother called to tell me her “numbers” are bad again. She has Stage 4 Bone Cancer.
- Another friend who has cancer was told he should have those final conversations with his wife and family.
- My oldest niece has been in and out of the hospital due to an ulcer and chest pains. She’s 23.
- Another friend’s marriage ended.
- And yet another friend recently gave birth to a still born.
This has all happened, roughly, in the last 10 days or so. It’s easy for me to wallow in the chaos of broken places. To dwell my thoughts in places that are dark, and even add to their darkness by obstructing the truth of hope. This can happen when I find comfort in self-pity or delight in drama.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not getting all Pollyanna on you. I’m not suggesting that I, or anyone else, deny the feelings of the pain of our own or each others’ hard places. We are to “bear one anothers’ burdens, thereby fulfilling the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). Bear… as in carry, feel, assist… and that can be wearisome for both parties. But, when we are strong enough again, it’s important to help point ourselves and each other toward the cross. Toward Christ Himself. Remember friend? Remember self? This is why He did what He did. He has absorbed the punishment and provided life when and where we could not.
So all that to say… I have caught myself being a little overwhelmed with sorrow and concern this week… and rightfully so. I mean, there seems to have been a land-swell of brokenness in the lives of people I care about. Topped by my normal occupation which requires a passion for people I’ve never met… it can be quite an emotional flood.
And my reason for blogging all this is simply to remind myself that God is on His throne… and sometimes that’s all I need to know.
Thanks for praying with me.