A typical day in my house could certainly be described as challenging, but this week was incredibly rough. Seriously, someone must have snuck my boys crazy pills! Even their mealtimes included chucking food and shoving macaroni noodles up their nose. And snorting, because noodles can certainly be confused with teeny-tiny snorkels in each nostril!
Early this week, I had a doctor’s appointment. Because of the extra rough week, I was never so excited for an appointment. But instead of hearing what I expected, it bore concerns. It’s easy to allow humanness to cloud a perspective. It’s easy to jump into the future, with fear and apprehension, focusing on my past losses, and allow my future to grow grim.
To add to my burden, we are experiencing new financial pressures. And grief, once again, has placed its sorrowful cherry on the top of my gloomy little dessert.
I’m not a Black-Friday shopper, but I am a Black-Friday decorator. Every Black Friday I decorate my house for Christmas. But this year I decided to decorate for Christmas a few days early. With a year of grief tucked under my belt, I was surprisingly excited this year. All was well. (Besides the boys bouncing off the furniture with excitement – I’m not even joking!) And then I moved a picture of my dad. BOOM! All the sudden the storm clouds moved in on my otherwise sunny day. Gone was my Christmas cheer.
The rest of the day went from difficult to near impossible. I guess my boys sensed my struggle as they seemed to unintentionally rev up their engines, louder and louder. Spitting fumes of naughtiness and swinging fists of disagreement at each other. I was a pressure cooker, slowly leaking steam until then. As soon as I caught sight of my husband’s vehicle pulling up to the house I greeted him outside. We exchanged a few words before I headed off for a long walk.
During devotions on Thanksgiving morning, I charged God with all the struggles in my path. Then, this verse in Psalm came to mind.
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Ugh…But I don’t want to be still! I want to burst forth into action. I want to solve all my problems. In fact, God, why can’t You take them all away?
As my husband and I discussed my health concerns, financial concerns, kid-concerns and my sadness over the absence of my dad, I heard myself say:
“And I’m supposed to be thankful. Today, of all days… But here I am complaining about everything that’s going wrong.”
A little while later I was in the shower, lost in my thoughts, when my son unexpectedly burst through the door, announcing: “God’s not dead; He’s surely alive.” It was so random; and he walked out just as abruptly.
Immediately, tears came to my eyes. How selfish I had been! My son had no idea how incredibly valuable his seemingly purposeless announcement was.
God’s not dead! He’s surely alive! That truth alone should be the reason for my thankfulness. That declaration is the very foundation of everything! And it changes everything!
Because God’s not dead, all His promises hold true! Because He’s alive, I can be thankful that He is alive in me! Sadness is ever-present in the absence of my dad, but he is alive with Christ! And it means I will also be present with my Father (and my father) one day! I can be thankful because a living God is a working God; and His purpose still remains. A living God is a loving God; and He cares for me. He is my refuge and my strength. I need not fear though my world may seem to crumble. Though life be dark and difficult, my hope and joy remains in Him, because He is alive. I can have joy despite sorrow. Because God’s not dead, I can always be thankful!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know, He holds the future; and life is worth the living, just because He lives.