Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fire, Earthquakes and Other Not-So-Natural Disasters

Dear friends,

Forgive my fairly lengthy absence.

There are sorrows and troubles that can paralyze the pen, and the soul, but His mercies are always new…and there is a time to simply do, even when the doing comes hard.

To tell the truth (and really, what’s the point if I don’t), my faith is being cooked in a fiery furnace at the moment.  It’s interesting, how life continues to shuttle you forward, making its demands as usual while you seek and cry and burn.  There is no getting off the train.  One must trust the Great One through the smoke and heat while bills are paid, groceries bought, children educated and jobs attended. 

The terrible car accident that visited our family in November, 2009 carries with it fallout, like an earthquake does (of course on a much smaller scale.)  How grateful I remain for the full-team rescue that came our way during that acute phase of disaster!  Eventually the aftershocks calm down and the tsunami waters recede, but the rubble remains and the restoration process has no schedule.  There are too many variables.  So one must cope with a completely different landscape.  Things will never be the same as they were.  The Lord gives, the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Often times, disasters make way for newness of life and a new kind of beauty.  Great forest fires devour great swaths of nature.  Certain kinds of seeds only react to the heat of a major fire, getting a cue from nature that it’s time to rise from the dead.  Faith is the time between the inferno and the shoots of new growth. How I long to have my faith proved genuine!  How I wish there was an easier way to get there.  But if there is anything this puny mind has figured out along the way, it is that I am sorely lacking in perspective.  God is big, magnificent, wise.  I am dust.  If He didn’t keep me along my way, I would surely have slid into a completely wasted life long ago.  I would have ended up at the bottom of some bottle, or in some vat of pride and arrogance, or hopeless, heartless and afraid, wondering why in the world I exist.  That is not my life.  With all its bumbles and offshoots, I know what really matters.  Relationship.  First with God.  Then with people.  In the long run all that remains are faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.

 Jesus warned us this pilgrim road was not for the faint of heart.  He also promised never, ever to leave us alone.  I’m writing this tonite in my pain because I know you have your own.  We must carry on friends, and allow the work of the Holy Spirit to do what it must, despite our inability to grasp all the whys.  God did not take on frail humanity, humble Himself, die a miserable death, and rise gloriously for nothing.  He is completely invested in us for now and for eternity.  His love really is unfailing.  Nothing can separate us…

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
~Romans 8:38-39

Enough said.  The fire doesn’t last forever.  Only long enough to wake up those seeds.  Things will be different, true.  But there will always be mercy.  And grace.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


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