Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The rock and the hard place

One of the things that I love about the Bible is that it's filled with real life and ordinary people in tough situations.  The stories of God's faithfulness are almost always in desperate places, between a rock and a hard place, between a deep sea and a huge army bearing down, between life and death, between fear and trembling.

Those hardships were not the end of life as they knew it,
      but the Presence of God in it.
These impossible places
          are not part of His story even for you,
      but His continual revealing.
God doesn't work in parts
                   but the whole of eternity.

We just don't see it yet.

Fifteen years ago, our family was in one of those hard places. My husband was quite suddenly looking for work.  As the time passed, we stopped seeking answers from God and began seeking God Himself in it, trusting Him step by step, day by day.  Several months into this, a pastor mentioned in a sermon, "And when you get to the end of this, you will have a story of God's faithfulness."  I wrote it down and posted that encouragement by our kitchen sink, until our youngest daughter reminded me by saying, "That's not true, mom.  Every day is a story of God's faithfulness."

And sometimes it takes the rock and the hard place
               for us to realize that.

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the. LORD,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turns the rock
           into a pool of water,
the flint into a spring of water.

                         Psalm 114. 7-8

God surprises us.
God delights in going before us,
in ushering us into His Presence.
God, is that You?
"I couldn't wait until you got here, My child.
    Everything is ready.
                               Watch this!"

God delights in providing the unexpected
                         in impossible places.
Between a rock and the hard place,
    finding not despair,
                  but blessing in some dimension.

It is not
    "always look on the bright side of life,"
according to Monty Python,
nor look for some kind of artificial silver lining,
nor even "thinking positively".

But know and grasp with both hands
            the reality of God
even in this,
even in what we cannot yet understand.

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