The familiar brown truck rolls up our farm’s gravel drive and the man who loves to play tug with our rambunctious yellow lab hands her a biscuit before handing me my box. She jumps and nearly gets him in the face with her enthusiastic expectation and her wet tongue.
Yeah, and so it goes.
We all get a little too gung-ho, a little too jumpy, a little too mouthy, don’t we? At least when it comes to our own perspectives? At least when life isn’t bowing to our wills and our wants—our understanding of what SHOULD be? You know, the TREATS of life that we think are owed us?
So when that dreaded thing happened again for what seemed like the billionth time last week? My head started spinning and my heart started spiraling. My thinking steamed . . .
How am I supposed to deal with THIS?! There’s no textbook answer for THIS! And, BTW God, I’m sick of THIS! (I learned long ago that I won’t get squashed if I get a bit bold with my Maker. Better than hiding and pretending. You know, like Adam and Eve?)
I wanted to scream on the phone but I didn’t. My voice remained calm, my words came out clear. But I was honest. Trust had shattered, again, due to lies. Lying right in front of my face. Looking me straight in the eyes. No flinching. No flushing. Just lying. Premeditated lying, later confessed.
So when I hung up the phone, I spilled a psalm of lament . . .
Oh Jesus, heal! Surely, you’re good! Surely, you’re able! I don’t know what else to do with THIS but keep doing what I’m doing. And what I’m doing is the right thing (I think) but it’s not FIXING anything (that I can see). So now I’m in a puddle of tears wondering what you’re doing. Lead me!
Suddenly, I remembered my camera with the repaired lens the man in brown brought back to me. I remembered my hour driving country roads in my ache from broken trust, with my eyes scanning for beauty—something tangible of God to hold me in my sad and mad. I remembered how God met me in the wild and vast frames and how he consoled me in the fragments.
When I’m sad and scared, I need God to show me his glory in a way I can see. I need to know the whole of who he is to hold me in my shattered moments—in the close-up details where I can stay stuck, focused only on a fragment, worrying about how the broken can be fixed.
Sometimes, there’s just no fixing, at least not by me. Or there’s no fixing in my desired timing. Or there’s no fixing in the way I think. As much as I would like answers to “Why?” and “How?” and “How long?”, peace comes only when I breathe in the fullness of God and give up trying to do his job.
There’s so much I do not know. There’s so much I need to learn.
But mostly, I need to rest in knowing that the love of Christ is wider and longer and higher and deeper than I can fathom. More than seeking answers to my burning questions, my soul finds rest when filled to the measure of all the fullness of God, knowing he loves the ones I love most as much as he loves me.
Moving my lens long and close, seeing the near and the distant, the details and the vistas, I find peace once again.
My God is sovereign. My God sees all. My God has got me in the palm of His hand, right along with all those I love.
So I don’t need to know the “Why?” or the “How?” or the “How long?” Because I know the WHO who knows the answers to all my questions. Because I know the WHO who will work all things for good.
Yes, soul! You can rest in the God you trust.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.