Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Days Like These

Friends, this week my youngest child graduates from high school.  She is a very beautiful, bright, smart, capable, competent, young woman who will go far and do "small things with great love" of which Mother Theresa speaks.  I am excited for her accomplishments, not just the honors and accolades she has gathered in high school, but also the college years to come, and how God will use her in her lifetime.  I'm sure I am not the only parent standing at such a place in time that it seems you are able to see a panoramic view of the child's life from the time she was born all the way through into adulthood.  It seems I can see vignettes of her graduating from college, her wedding day, beginning her first job, pregnant, a mother with a daughter of her own...

Of course, I cannot really see the future with any kind of clarity.  I cannot know what God has planned for her, or the choices and decisions she will make in her life.  But what I know of my child casts a vision on the future and it seems superimposed over the blank slate that is her tomorrows.  I know who she is, and even if I cannot tell what will happen in the future, I am confident that she will have God to guide her.  Who she is allows her to listen and follow God.  Isnt' that an awesome thing?  I will miss my child as she leaves for college, but I know she will always include me in her life in some way, and I know that she will bless those she meets.

In the midst of this excitement, we are living in the chaos and mess of preparing to move.  There are boxes everywhere.  Cleaning has taken on the importance of tending to ingrown toenails.  You know, something you really NEED to do, but not something you really WANT to do.  And I wont even mention how futile it seems. (Guess I just did.)  I keep packing and discovering, I really needed what I just packed.  I haven't been this sore, tired, and in an overall state of AARRRGGGHHHH!!!!! in about...welll...4 years, which was the last time I moved and graduated a child at the same time. 

My father is 92, and is in failing health.  He has not been feeling good this week, and I am feeling a bit of tension in the middle of the excitement of graduation this week, and worry over my father.  I know he wants to go to be with God, and I would never begrudge him that joy, but I just want to scream, "I'm too busy!"  How can so many things; happy, sad, exciting, worrisome, chaotic, messy, all happen at one time.  It seems that the stress is beginning to get to me.  I had someone ask me yesterday if I needed a nap!  Maybe I do.

The Bible tells us that there will be days (even weeks) like these. Romans 8;26-28 tells us:
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Often, we only focus on the last verse, all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.  It has been taken out of context in a prosperity-type way of saying, "if you love God, then everything in your life will be great."  Which has an unspoken counter sentiment of "if you want things to go great in your life, then you should love God," or worse "if things aren't going great in your life, you must not love God."  Of course, most people will say that these are incorrect assumptions, but the fact remains that I have counseled with people who have picked up on these exact counter-sentiments however incorrect they may be.

I like looking at it in the verses I have listed above.  It is obviously written to those who are weak.  In our weakness...  It is in our weakness that God is strong.  It is in our groaning the spirit intercedes.  It is in these circumstances that we can be assured that even in the midst of our failures, we have been called according to God's purpose.  Often, I feel I must do everything, that I am indispensable, that if I can't do things, they wont get done.  But you know what, regardless of what I am able to do or not do, everything will work out okay.  I may not be able to see the road ahead, but I know God can.  So I just trust and have faith.

In the writing of this post, I have received another phone call from my mom.  I need to go see my father, and I need to not procrastinate.  I have agonized over the time that I do not have, but I am aware of the need to take this time. So, I will go visit my father, and trust God with the rest. 

Many blessings to you all.

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