Saturday, September 10, 2011

How, Then, Shall We Live?

The answer for me, at least lately, has been:

In anger.


So many things have gone wrong in the last few weeks. Things that left me feeling God had stepped out and forgot to step back in. And so I raged. And whined. And kicked and screamed. And bit by bit, the anger simmered, then boiled over. My spirit turned black as tar and weighed me down until all I wanted to do was hide out, under the covers, not even peering at each new day that dawned. Because knew...

New day meant new struggles.

Even this morning, I crawled out of bed, fighting the weight of dread that clung to me like quicksand. What would come today? What new, horrid thing would slam into me, shattering my heart and hope, fueling the roiling, scorching anger within?

What came?

Words from friends, fellow travelers on this rocky, rugged path. Not platitutdes, but gut-level truth. Truth that rocked me, turned my angry, stiff-necked stance into wobbling rubber until my knees at last folded and I went down. Not to defeat...

But to surrender.

God hasn't stepped out. He's here. In the midst of every, ugly moment. In the face of every assault and strike the enemy makes to undermine, engrage, and debilitate. All of which he'd done oh-so-well in the last few weeks. Because instead of turning my eyes to the ONE, I focused on the one: me. On all I was losing. On the cost to me. And in so doing, I lost sight of what really mattered.

And so I start again. Today. This moment.

And God, who has never left me, not for a beat of hummingbird wings, opens His arms and wraps me in them, whispering forgiveness and peace.

My prayer today is this: May we find Truth in the trials. May we turn our eyes from outrage, anger, and fear and focus instead on Christ. Broken, bleeding, giving all for us. Dying, forgiving with last breath. Risen, restored, returned to the glory that is His--and ours, though Him.

Nothing that comes to us is a surprise to Him. Nothing is beyond His power and control. Nothing is greater than He, wider than His love, deeper than His will. We are His.

And that is enough. No, more than that...

It's amazing.

So how, then, shall we live? In wonder. In grace and peace. In the spirit of Charles Gabriel, when he penned these words:

I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus, the Nazarene. And wonder how He could love me, a sinner condemned unclean.

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be: "How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior's love for me!"

For me, it was, in the garden He prayed, "Not my will, but Thine." He had no tears for His own griefs, but sweat drops of blood for mine. In pity the angels beheld Him, and came from the world of light to comfort Him in the sorrows He bore for my soul that night.

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be: "How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior's love for me!"

He took my sins and my sorrows, He made them His very own. He bore the burden to Calvary and suffered and died alone. When with the ransomed in glory His face I at last shall see, 'twill be my joy through the ages to sing of His love for me!

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be: "How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior's love for me!"


Christina Suzann Nelson said...

Beautifully written words of great hope. Thank you for writing this.

Margo Carmichael said...

Beautiful. Gave me chills.

Tamera Alexander said...

Wonderful, wonderful reminder, K! Love it. And love you!@

Roseanna White said...

Thanks for this, Karen--I needed it after getting the word that a dear friend and critique partner just lost the battle to cancer.

How marvelous and wonderful indeed is our Savior's love!

Hugs to ya.

karendalycook said...

Honest words of a heart surrendered...thank you for sharing your story & the hope we have in Jesus. He knows our hearts and remains near. Grace & Peace to you Karen...

Jo Huddleston said...

Karen, beautiful words. Your prayer (in your blog post) sure helped to shake away my "poor me" thoughts of late. Thank you!

patti said...

Amen. I've spent 4 days trying to write humorous article on peace--and I could NOT give peace a chance if it hit me in the face--and then wham!--this morn, it all came-bam! And you got it too! Whooo hoooo! You know, you call me when ya feel the rage and by golly, I'll be at your front door in 15 min. flat to whisk you into the TRUTH, with Jesus by our side! I love you. That rage picture? nah, not so much--hahahaha!

Robin Lee said...

Karen, so sorry to hear things have been so tough. But what a beautiful and wise post came out of it. Bless you, sister, and a great big hug coming your way from Boise.

Terra said...

Wise words and you quote from one of my all time favorite hymns that we sing often on Sundays in church. Maybe today!

Bonnie Leon said...

Amen. Thank you. I needed this today.

Grace and peace to you, friend.