Sunday, December 27, 2015
Our tree didn't drink much on the first day. Or really at all, from then on out. We've always done these live trees but this one seemed spent before we ever brought it home. Every time someone walks by, the boughs shudder and a sprinkling of needles shower on down. Nature's glitter scattered across the rug.
I don't know why, but on this Sunday after Christmas, I sit in a pew at a strange church and think about that tree. How something so beautiful on the outside can be dried right on up inside. Parched. Starved. You can dress up the outside but the truth comes out eventually. The Pastor is talking about prayer and how this gift from God is always waiting for us - how he longs for us to accept it and receive His peace through it. I feel a bit like our stubborn tree. Dressed up pretty but slowly crumbling despite repeated attempts for healing. Something has to change - something inside of me.
I've prayed a lot this year for many things and I remember standing in the dining room when he told me he doesn't think they're heard. Talking at the ceiling, that's all it is. I shook my head, refusing to believe this. There are answers. You just have to look - sometimes in the unlikeliest of places.
Sometimes the answer to your prayers might be a job loss, third in 18 months, just two weeks before Christmas - although it feels a bit more like a kick in the stomach. Maybe the answer feels less like a blessing of snow dusting glowing lights on Christmas eve and more like a train running you right over. God shows you your deepest longings - and asks for you to hand them right over. Trust. Trust.
I've lost my footing and faith and I'm stumbling toward the new year with a heavy suitcase of regret. Yet it comes to me in a still, quiet moment. That reminder that THIS IS NOT UP TO ME. That there is a manual. A GUIDE. Someone who loves us all than I could possibly fathom. All I'm called to do is Abide.
The triumph of faith is that nothing is for nothing. With each pang, every heartbreak, every dark night - God fulfills. Sustains. There is nothing that He cannot cover in mercy. No trial so great that it separates us from His complete love. He knows my heart better than anyone. I can trust him.
So maybe that's just it, the plan for this year. Abide. Set aside the stress, the striving, the strangling fear - and abide. There is a plan. There is a future. Heck if I know what it is, but I know Who does. All I have to do is snuggle in close, hang on tight and let Him lead. Wherever He is, that's where I want to be.
One day at a time. Each moment a gift, yes, even those ones ones that aren't so fun. I don't know the plan, but I know what my job is. With Him right at the center of every moment, I know it's all for good.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to future posts. Thank you.