There is a change that we all must go through in life, one that comes to us but often we don’t even know its there. For some of us, the lucky ones, we might learn these lessons earlier in life, this group, might have been born with it, came into this world with all the right stuff ready to hit the ground running.
But, for the rest of us, we must toil, we must take the slow road, we must learn the hard way.
That second group, that’s where I belong. Those are my homies.
Yet, as I struggle through, I am also learning to like it here, on this long slow road, the changes are slow, but when they do appear I appreciate them.
Jessie and I have had this running conversation over the past week, we have been talking about all the failures and disappointments we have endured in our life together, what we may have learned from them and what we might do different next time.
Sounds like a fun conversation huh?
It is however necessary, and in this season of our life where we have put everything we have (literally) into a getting Bring Love In, this orphan care project off the ground and on the path to be hopefully successful at building new families in Ethiopia for orphans to call home. It feels right that we look deep into the lives we have lived and the canyons we have hiked down into.
For 11 years Jessie and I have born the struggles of this world together, we have enjoyed incredible heights, and bottom-of-the-ocean lows, we have journeyed on the path to learn what it means to be parents and all discovered how important it is that we stay committed to fall in love with one another all over again, and again, and again. We have taken the through-the-mountains path to find out that nothing in this world will carry us, nothing in this place has the power to bring you through.
“Its over the next ridge!”
We have called out, so many times, hoping that some in-this-place fulfillment would be found.
Marriage is messy, and life, not matter what path you choose is going to bring ruts and rivers that you must forge. For us, if feels that there have been more potholes than pavement… But I suppose each of us would feel the same way. When I think of my friends, the ones who have been real and honest confidants, they testify of the same; This life knocks down more than it lifts and our path always feels harder than any one else’s.
But where in all this mess is this great big God we serve?
We have to ask ourselves this painful question if we are to work out our faith, and come to a place where we truly trust the vast splendor that is Him.
What about him?
For me and Jessie, we have hit hard, we have bowed low and lost everything, more than once. We get up, stand tall, only to find that the next dip is lower, deeper, and more painful.
Where was he? We have to ask as we talk about these things, as we process together what it means to stand on knees that have been knocked hard, on ground that seems to constantly move beneath blistered feet.
God was here, I know that, I feel that. But to find him in the path behind us, we first had to stop looking at he was this santa-god who wanted things for us, like he ever cared how much money we had, or how well off we were.
To see his glory on the roads we have walked we first had to realize that it was him who was standing on the sidelines furiously longing for out hearts, deeply hoping that we would turn from this toiling and look instead to him.
Yes, this world, it pulls downward.
But God, he is there fighting for our hearts.
His currency is not of this world, its different, his goals for us are not of this world.
I want more than anything for my life to make a difference. Like right now I want to start picking up children off the streets and to start giving them homes. And soon, once we get the project documents done and filed at all the countless government offices we will be able to do that. But God, he wants our hearts first. He wants our attention, and he wants the help we bring to this world to flow from the abundance of love we feel from him.
He is not looking for worker bees to populate the earth and do good things for him. He wants our hearts.
To help, to do more, just for the sake of doing more, its pointless. We must first find God in our paths, we must find the narrow gate that he calls from and go with him to the great places that he wants for us.
Are you toiling today? Is your face turned toward the work, the struggle?
Look up. He is waiting.