A steady rain..... Advent Day 23

It has rained steadily metaphorically speaking this past month for our family. An unexpected turn of health for my mother-in-law brought on a very unexpected ending of her life. The shock still stuns us. It might for a very long time. My husband's health from kidney problems due to the oral chemo drug to a herniated disc bulging 9mm also came as a blow especially when the expectation was that he would be near his mom for the time of her sickness. We find ourselves somewhere beautiful with family, yet unexpected for Christmas and wonder what was all of this that has happened? 

A quick trip to the store yesterday turned into a culture shock trigger, lost in Target with my cart, musing over the frenzy of buyers filling up carts with items for loved ones. Can I say that people watching is fun? Two days away from Christmas and my dad laughs saying men make up the bulk of the shoppers in the next couple days. He might be speaking from experience. Christmas is a Western tradition adopted in Asia so Snoopy decorates the gigantic tree in the mall near our home in Thailand. It all feels so strange today. 

We reach for books that speak of people who have endured hardship. Those who have a message of perseverance and courage. We are challenged by their stories, but never imagine that we might encounter similar circumstances. We are inspired by those who's testimony is tried through fire, who have come out on the other side saying yes, God has brought me out into a broad place, he rescued me. But it's when that story becomes our story that trusting God can be difficult. When we don't know that the end will turn out as we prayed, when God doesn't answer as we have trusted Him to. What then? 

But he who would reach higher mountain peaks which be open to the sun must descend steep slopes and thread shadowy ravines. More courage is needed for a walk downhill into the shadow, writes Amy Charmicael in her book Gold by Moonlight.  Such is true. We long for greater intimacy, greater depths, and sweeter intimacy in our relationship with God, but can it come any other way? 

There are no clear answers for what is ahead for our family, but I am sure of one thing this morning. God is for us and His presence is sure. I might be waiting for the rescue chopper to remove us from this valley we are in, but if God is with us, is that enough? When very little makes sense in life can I still trust Him? The honest true confessions of the soul can feel uncomfortable, but there is safety with God in these moments. 

For it is You who lights my lamp, The Lord my God lightens my darkness. This God His way is perfect... (Psalm 18:28,30). Though it doesn't feel so perfect right now, I am trusting Him for the ending. 

                                                    A blurry view and a steady rain.....



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