I am dedicating this post to memory of those killed in Orlando and the family who lost their son at Disney World. May God hold them close.
It’s been the little things in life that has helped make me strong. That’s because of my Christian faith, believing and knowing God is real, and the small ways he whispers his presence into all of our lives.
God is like that.
When he whispers, we pay closer attention.
It’s like last week when my local paper had a photo of a scarlet tanager and I thought, “I’d love to see one of those!” And a day later, I did.
And then the 6 quarts+ of strawberries I’ve picked out of my little 5×5 patch.
And the cardinals I have been coaxing to the feeders for so long.
Or my peony that would only give 2 or 3 blooms each year, and this spring, it was covered with over 70 blooms.
All around you are whispers from God. He wants you to know he is with you.
“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”
C. S. Lewis; A Grief Observed
Sometimes it feels like God is playing some kind of sick game with us.
Or we think he is testing us.
Or punishing us.
All of the above are normal feelings.
But the Bible says God’s ways are not like ours; his thoughts are not like ours.
In other words, God does not think the way we do but He has given us the capacity to trust Him.
God teaches us about ourselves and how much we need Him, but it’s more than that. He wants us to be comforted and that can only happen when we trust him.
Even in death, which seems like the absolute end, He is there.
Pain is everywhere. We can’t eradicate it. We can only live with it.
But how we live with it is what matters.
Sometimes, I just want to give into it. I want it to do it’s work and be done with it. Those are the times when I can’t … or I refuse … to take another breath. Just let me die.
It’s then when we see God. Not because he always reaches down and pulls us out of the despair, but because he gets down in it with us, and breathes that next breath into us. It comes in many ways. When we least expect it, something catches our eye, makes us smile, and we know God is really there.
“Ann Voskamp’s story is not happily ever after. As a child, her sister was crushed under a truck in front of her and her mother. Consequently, her mother checked herself into a psychiatric hospital and her father couldn’t find God. As an adult, she stood beside her brother-in-law as he buried his first two sons. Voskamp is a wife and mother who does not grin through the pain but battles to believe that in God is joy, and that there are as many gifts amid the grittiness of life as in the moments of celebration.”