Saturday, January 5, 2013


I tapped this post out with my thumb on my phone the other morning.  I hope you'll forgive the roughness, but it was on my mind and needed to get out...

How do you cope when what you're going through feels like a life sentence? How do you maintain your belief that God is good, yes, but that He also has good for you?

Can I be honest? I really really really struggle with this. I can believe that God is goodness & love & justice & kindness & on & on...But do I believe that He has good for me here on earth? I have a really hard time with this. I mean, look around us: shootings in places we should be safe, deaths too soon (violent or otherwise), unemployment, disease, famine, or even just the daily meaningless grind...How can I possibly say God has good for me here? Now?

It's easy for me to believe He has good for us in heaven. Heaven's like a happily ever after. But see, that's where I get tripped up in believing that everything short of heaven is a life sentence. Some flowers growing through the bars on the windows now & then which I try to be thankful for, but good? No way. The thing is, I don't think I'm the only Christian who lives this way & I think that has the potential to make us a very sad race of people indeed. Why would anyone on the outside look at a life approached as a sentence & want in? They don't. They shouldn't.

I think maybe the whole point of Jesus entering our world was to bring salvation to the here and now. To secure our eternity, but also to redeem our moments here. If it wasn't about the present, would he have bothered to put on a coat of flesh & live & grieve & die with us? I would tend to think he could have remained a heavenly being to do the heavenly business. But the earthly business? That took flesh and blood and the perfect being made broken.

Faith is hard work; it is not for the lazy hearted, which I often tend to be. Last year I read a book (yes, just one) about counting gifts. I think I might try it this year. Not because I'm trying to be Pollyanna inside my prison bars, but because I have a strange hunch it might be the key to getting out once & for all. I think I might find that Christ is in the here & now. Flesh & blood & ready & waiting to set free & redeem all things...All things, all things. Ready & waiting to show me the way into the freedom of trust.

If 2012 showed me anything, it's that the faith I just assumed I had is lacking. Faith is given to us - I think in equal measure - but big faith? Hardy faith? Maybe that belongs to the people who are simply willing to do the work of one building block on top of another, one footstep in front of the next. Not staring into heaven's rays & being blinded (& dare I say, potentially useless) to the here & now...but letting heaven's light illuminate everything around us, soaking up its much needed warmth so that we might radiate peace & comfort & a sense of home & hope to a cold & hurting world.