It’s been a long, hot summer – and not just here, and not just the weather.
Here the usual relief of afternoon downpours often haven’t happened. Then there’s the flooding in Louisiana – and we count our blessing of not too much.
There’s the earthquake in Italy – homes, businesses, loved ones – gone in an instant. And we count our blessing of sound ground.
It seems the dark-sky-rumble threatens somewhere everyday. “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” (Matthew 24:7 NIV) (And tornadoes and storms and terrorists attacks, and and and)
But then there’s the bare flowerbed left alone because it’s too hot to bother. Suddenly green lacey leaves sprout. Overnight the barren becomes an oasis of waving yellow. Seeds dropped a season or two ago quietly nestled in the dark earth until just the right time.
And so it is with the fruit that pain sometimes brings. A need, a longing, a desire to know there is something bigger than our bank account, a roof over our heads, or any other so called security. And through the hard thing, faith grows.
Deep in our hearts is a knowing that this is not our home. That this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” (Hebrews 13:14 NLT)
In the mirror I glimpsed my deep smile lines and in that same moment turned to see the swelling of new life in a young mom. Life being knit together in the safety of the womb. And I’m reminded that a blessed life starts with smooth skin and ends with hard won crinkles where eyes smiled at the wonder of it all.
Rain or shine, bare fields or green harvest, youth or aging grace – we have it all.
All that the world tries to convince us we need cannot compare to what we already have. For if we’ve surrendered self and accepted true life, then it’s us who can tell the world “You are really missing out.”
Lived hard, loved deep, laughed loud – we can joy in this not because of the ease, but because of the struggle. It is in the hard stuff, we acknowledge our hope.
So the next time you hear ‘You can have it all’ – smile, knowing you already do. “From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.” (John 1:16 NLT)
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