What It Ought to Be Like

Man, I really haven’t posted anything here for a while. These past 18 months have been so full of unexpected twists and turns which kept me so bewildered that I couldn’t put together a coherent post to express my thoughts. Plenty of journaling happened, but nothing that could be shared without a long explanation of the events which inspired the writing. Even now, I feel it would be too tedious to go into the details. Maybe some other time I’ll put something together…

I guess all I want to say right now – just to get it out there so I can move on – is this: God uses the most unexpected things to show us what our lives ought to be like. Sometimes it even means being forced to take a U-turn when we thought we were on the right track. Perhaps we were meant to go in a certain direction for a season, but now the road has been cut off. Grief, confusion, discouragement, and anger can come and make us want to turn ourselves into stone so that we cannot through the same pain again; the pain of losing what we thought we’d have forever. What we lost may be friendships, jobs, battles with different temptations, health, or any number of other things… whatever it is, I can tell you with certainty that that sense of loss – that feeling gnawing away at the pit of your stomach – has not gone unseen.

“But why did this have to happen to me?”

I don’t know why, any more than Job knew why he had to lose his sons and daughters and possessions (and to top it all off, he had patronising losers for friends who would not even vouch for his integrity… just sayin’!). But I do know that when God breathed life into the first human being, when He gave His Son to bear our sin and suffering, He was not hard-hearted. He took the first and ultimate risk by giving us life and showing us love. And we were made in His image, to be open-hearted, to love as He first loved.

A lot of this feels like stuff we’ve all probably heard or read before, but it’s different when you see it unfolding in your life.

I can tell you that many times this year, I’ve tried to play it cool, downplaying the good things that have happened because I was scared that it would all vanish as soon as I started to really appreciate them. I’ve spent too much time trying to compare the hundreds of little things that made me smile this year against the big highlights of previous years. (Don’t you just love faulty memories?).

But those things which cracked me up and caused my defences to crumble were all part of God’s project to help me realise that I’m seen, known, and loved by Him. As Psalm 37:23 says, “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.”

God hasn’t brought me – or you – to this point for the sole purpose of giving us a valid excuse to turn away. His goodness led us here and it can – and will – lead us on.

To quote one of my favourite parts of C. S. Lewis’ final book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, “The Last Battle”, let us go, “Farther up and farther in!”

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