Saturday, January 10, 2015

It Matters for the Kingdom; Whether We Understand It or Not (as Seen on A Widow's Might)

I stand staring at the photo on our kitchen counter.

I’m lost in the memory. 

It is a Christmas party.  We are sitting together on the ottoman in our friend’s living room, snuggled close and laughing.  Our friend turns around with her camera and instantly Tim comes in for a kiss, and then pretends to lick my face instead.  We are wrestling and laughing, then settling back in tightly together for the photo. 

My mind rushes to the day this friend showed up at our home 8 months later with the beautifully framed photograph of that moment.  A gift received after my husband's diagnosis.  It’s the photo I am transfixed on now.

How, God?  How does it happen?  This death thing; the “here one second and gone the next”?  I don’t understand. 

I am paralyzed in place, just staring in wonder.

My brain cannot process the reality that he is gone.  Although I am living with that very real truth day in and day out, there is just something so surreal about the permanency of it.

James 4:14 “you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” {NIV}

Memories bombard my thoughts, emotions wash over me in waves so strong if I close my eyes I am easily lost and can almost feel Tim’s presence in them.

Dinner sizzles in the skillet I have neglected.  Still, I cannot pull myself away from the photograph.

Lord, give me wisdom.  Teach me to number my days.  [Psalm 90:12]

Why did you take Tim and leave me?  Oh God, wash over me with your peace!

James 3:17-18 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” {NIV}

So full of tears my vision cannot focus, my eyes finally pull themselves away from the photograph.  I lean in, elbows on the counter, head dropped low, gently rocking back and forth.  

Father, I don’t understand the how or the why, but I trust You.  I am incapable of wrapping my feeble human brain around the death process.  I can’t comprehend the minuteness of this life in Your timetable of eternity.  I will choose to thank You.  I will choose to surrender.  I will choose to allow you to use my pain for Your glory. 

1 Peter 1:6 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” {NIV}

Lord, refine me.  Prove my faith as genuine.  Receive all praise, glory and honor.  Amen.

I want you to know that it is okay to ask God the hard questions.  It is okay to not understand the details of our Master’s plan.  I am just as confused as you are as to the whys and the how of this widow life.  I will not pretend for one second that it is easy to fully surrender with a thankful heart.  It takes a disciplined and deliberate choice, sometimes moment by agonizing moment.  And grief, well it likes to slam into us when we least expect it.  I was simply cooking dinner, when this photograph that has graced our kitchen counter for over two years now caught my eye in a new way. 

Unexpected grief.

There is comfort in our queries.  There is wisdom in our seeking.  There is peace in the imperfection of this life.  It is all found in our surrender to God.  One day, we will stand before the King of Kings and all of this will make sense and it will matter.  We matter.  Our pain and our grief will have mattered.  It matters for the kingdom, whether we understand it or not.  

Find more articles like this aNew Season Ministries

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