Aside from Clark Pinnock’s books, I’ve been reading a lot of Ann Voskamp lately. How to be thankful in every circumstance.
I think that I have grown a lot since August. Granted, I shrank a good amount beforehand.
The night shift. Working holidays. Momma miscarriages that spark ugly memories. Joshua Harris men that actually aren’t at all. Parkinson’s patients insisting they are good for nothing as I use every ounce of muscle I can muster to lift them from bed. Telomeres shortening as life dwindles. Singing hymns with broken back boys to lessen tears that spring come morning light. Signing papers, revoking privileges to live with those I’ve come to love deeply. What is home, again? Walking miles through snow at 11pm and dragging feet for miles back through snow before morning comes, to read about how we should respond with thanksgiving.
I slept through Thanksgiving this year, quite literally and figuratively.
I had questions I wanted answered, because the God of comfort apparently didn’t know that peace had been absent for months - even years. And could he please have a little mercy on his people?
I lost answers to questions I shook my head at years before. Because if God loves me, then what’s going on?
Is he good?
That doesn’t matter; he’s still God of the universe. But can I trust him? Can I love him?
“If trust must be earned, hasn’t God unequivocally earned our trust with the bark on the raw wounds, the thorns pressed into the brow, your name on the cracked lips” (Voskamp)?
And furthermore… “Can God be counted on? Count blessings and find out how many of His bridges have already held” (Voskamp).
I had to make a character switch in the story my mind was coming up with; I am not, nor was I ever the main character in the bigger, ancient story. It was God who was good and perfect and it was him who gave me life; It was I that invented the means of brokenness and separation, and it was he that took the most of my burdens and placed them upon himself.
It is God that is working to put his children’s broken pieces back together, after they did him wrong.
It is God that still allows me to know the goodness of pomegranate gems and joy turned to laughter because it can’t be contained. It is God that lets us keep the gifts of newborn baby smell and sap in the trees.
Courtney, do you understand now that he both whispers and screams and demonstrates through working hands his love for you?
Do you understand, children, that agape is etched in the very cracks of the earth?
"I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing, or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty;
with plenty or little” (Phil. 4:11-12).
"And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph. 5:20).
And that’s a bit of what I’ve been learning lately.