A few months ago, my cousin called asking me not to leave home, drive the van, go to the store, or use power tools. In short, to protect myself from everything harmful, and I suddenly began to laugh until I cried. "What?" she asked. "This really isn't funny." My cousin had called because her life felt a little out-of-control. Two successive, unexpected family deaths had left her reeling, and while none of us can alter the future, sharing our lives lightens our burdens, and sometimes even erupts into unexpected laughter.
"Imagine the two of us running around in human-sized hamster balls!" I told her when I could finally breathe again, and after a few moments of shocked silence, her own unexpected laughter mingled with mine. That's what it means to do life together, what it means to be the Body of Christ.
A sweet friend of mine is enduring a long, difficult situation, striving to hold fast to what she knows to be true even when she doesn't feel it, but she's getting discouraged, and fear is gaining a foothold. My heart aches for my friend. Her situation is hard, and there's no easy way through, no guarantee that it will turn out "right" in the end, but that is the lesson. We wouldn't need faith, wouldn't need to trust, if we were assured of fairy-tale endings. Faith teaches us to believe in what we can't see, to trust in the sovereignty of God in all circumstances, and to persevere knowing this world is not our home. The journey isn't easy, and the perils are real, but together with God we can make it.
C.S. Lewis wrote, "We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." The question becomes: Are we willing to trust God no matter what, regardless of the cost, in spite of the pain, through the fear, in the midst of heartache, and even at the risk of great loss, or would we really rather have God step aside and leave us to our own designs?
A sobering question. I can no longer imagine my life without God, without the promise of eternity, without His Word to guide my life, unable to talk to Him throughout my day. Life bereft of God would be utterly hopeless, void of joy, absent of love, dark, dismal, isolated and empty. But with Him, it is worth it always, no matter what, every step of the way.
We may not be able to read the last chapter first in our life on this earth, but we can rest safely in the knowledge that we know the One Who wrote the story. We may not understand the outcome of each situation, but we know without question Who wins the final battle, the One Who gave up all He had, all He was to promise us a hope and a future in His Presence, and that is an ending we can count on every single time!
Cindee Snider Re lives in Sussex, WI with her husband, their five children, two cats, and two Shichon puppies. She enjoys quiet evenings, long walks, good books, homeschooling her kids, and lots of good, strong, hot, black tea.