Originally published Monday, 04 January 2016.
Faith is easy when life is simple.
Faith is tested when life gets infested.
Infested with: trials, trauma, ticks, testing, tainted people, tiny bank accounts, T-Cell Cancer
Then, we start to lose our marbles, we run after them as they spread left and right and downhill and diagonally. We think that somehow they are our source of pleasure, our primary need, our must haves to stay in this competitive game called life. When they go wild, we go wild. We zig and we zag, frantic with the what ifs, the how comes and the if onlys. We run tired with metastasized doubt.
Just the other day, my bag spilled out.
Kids were going to bathroom in places they never should go.
Water was being poured faucet-to-floor.
Shoes were being protested as we headed out the door.
Bad news was arriving via telephone.
Later, I sat in my car, zoned, and seeking: "Dear Lord, please help me right now. Send me some encouragement that will uplift my heart."
I stared out the front windshield, a tad dazed, yet I still saw it, a beacon of hope, a blessing in the making and a little valentine from God - I was sure this card tucked under the wiper was the answer to all my days wrongs.
"God, this must be it. What is on that card, you have written for me, to encourage me. Please Lord, let it be."
I plucked the card out and, with excitement, read it, sure of my oncoming peace. But, what it said shocked me, it nearly broke me, "Alert: You park like an idiot."
And, boom! There it was, the hammer that broke the frozen dam of pent up wild, the final condemnation I needed to lose and the final word on what was already written up as horrendous day.
Have you ever been there? Just needing a little pat on the back, only to get a great whack?
What I never considered, until I got the chance to consider how much of a parking idiot I really am, is that no one ever really knows our situation.
While that person placed a card on my windshield to help all mankind, they had no idea that a man of my kind was near her breaking point. They had no idea that I parked the car like that because kids will not be able to open the backdoor if the car is too close. They had no idea that leaving two littles in the center of a crazy parking lot to back up and load them in is frankly idiotic. They had no idea that my head was going to explode from the pressure of all the marbles that were already hitting all the walls of discouragement.
How often do I judge someone before I know?
How often do I see bad moves and curse the person
for not moving another way?
How often do I miss the chance to love and lift
for a decision to kill and destroy?
That person had the chance to change my whole day for the better, I bet they had no idea.
All the same, in that moment, for a split second, another marble came loose. It was the marble with the name God on it, for a split-second it started to roll - away, far far away.
I watched it.
Would I get it?
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Ro. 8:28
I know this verse, but sometimes it is hard to believe this verse. Sometimes it is hard to live in the eye of tornado and still keep an eye on truth.
God cares less about wiping our feelings clean and more about wiping our souls clean.
God sometimes let's us go through the fire, so we get a chance to see the miraculous undoing of our self.
God is holding our heart, even when we lose heart.
More important than earthly mayhem is spiritual peace. Mania makes us motivated to find it.
People don't drive our standing in God's Kingdom, Jesus did.
If I stop chasing marbles, I start to get back into God's game. I start to think strategy, promises and peace to myself. I start to find life abounding in the face of myself rebounding.
I start to think of how all this bad is made for all God's good.
I start to feel calm again, steady and ready to stick solidly to all that really matters in this world.
Sense starts to boil up from all the nonsense - and that is enough for me.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3
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