Monday, October 24, 2016

Walking in Hard

I don't really know where to start in getting back into posting here. Life has been a whirlwind literally this month.

All of the storm related word pictures we are given in Scripture have taken on new meaning for me in the process of walking through a Hurricane coming through our area. There are piles of debris at the curb in front of most houses and I feel like there could be spiritual application there as well.

Thank goodness I don't have to sweep out all of my internal debris to the curb to be seen by all my neighbors. But, oh, isn't that what Christ wants for us? To sweep that debris out and let Him cleanse us?

Like the remains of this tree: look at how hollow it was inside and no one even knew it from the outside. Whenever I drive by this neighbors house, I am reminded that I don't want my life to be like that.

After my sweet friends cleaned out all the lost food from our freezers, I've opened and just looked at how empty and clean they look. It has left me feeling sort of small and sad that all the careful planning and thrifty shopping came to this. It feels hard to know that I worked hard and diligently to make extra pancakes, muffins, cooked chicken and more to keep on hand and now that is all gone.

And on the other side, I am so utterly thankful that our house was spared when I see friends around me dealing with much larger damage and difficulties. I'm also overwhelmed when walking through the grocery store at how quickly food just appears on the shelves and in the freezers. To know that these perishable foods were completely wiped out just days ago and now are fully back up to normal is overwhelming to me to consider the abundance of where we live and what we have become accustomed to.

On the upside it is actually fun to look inside my freezer and see how neat and clean it is!! It is feeling like a game and success to come up with  meals that utilize what I have and slowly rebuild our staples and stores.

My heart hurts for our little sponsor child in Haiti whose family, we were informed, lost their way of making an income during the Hurricane. I know they do not pick up and move forward as easily because of where they live.

I have taken for granted the beauty of the trees around us and yet how powerful and strong they are to do such large amounts of damage. And after finding out that thousands of trees came down in our area, it is a wonder to me that so many are still standing. How does one tree fall and the one next to it stays?

There is an abundance of stories where trees fell in just the right places away from houses, even split in two or three directions. Only God.

I have a huge list of things I need to process, things to mourn, learn from and move forward in. Not just storm related. Yet I have felt like they are coming so fast that I am holding on for dear life and not really working through any of them much yet. I'm thinking a lot about how we grieve. About God as my refuge. About numbness to so much hard in life.

I'm not looking for pity or for anyone to feel sorry, we all have a big list of hard things in our lives. I can only speak to my own set of circumstances. I know that you could rewrite this entire post with the hard you are walking through right now and maybe writing it out would be helpful as I remind myself of as well.

Comments will be turned off for at least today as making this a quiet space is something I need right now.

For now - settle your heart and mind on this:

Romans 5:1-8, "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person - though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."