Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Stormy Season

I don't even know what hit me or where it came from.  Only that it left me dazzed and threatened to alter my course.  Now that the dust has settled I can finally recognize what it is, a test of my faith.

A storm in the air, my family rushed out the door to a local park where we unfurled a kite.  Before long, it rode with the wind, dipping, curling, frolicing, and catching the light.  Each of us took turns holding the handles, feeling the tension on the lines and the energy in the air. Delightful!

Since that day, we've had many tumultous winds, yet, the kite sits in the closet.  Safe.  And I thought about faith. Certainly, I don't want to miss the joy God has for me by sitting in the closet!  And so I venture out into these trials, even though there are no answers, and in some cases, no end. Everything in me wants to resist and to sulk in the closet.  Yet, I will never see God's glory if I stay here.  Faith is the kite that ventures out to catch the winds!

I noticed something as we were flying our kite that blustery day.  None of us focused on our hands. Instead, we were always following the line of the string, looking up, and up, and up, until our necks were sore from all that tilting.  Likewise, the struggle of the last few months has caused me to notice something about faith.  It always looks forward and upward to our heavenly home.  Sometimes the pain can be so large that all I see is my own hands and they shout feeble insufficiency.  In this place is only fear and defeat where my soul aches and longs to be set free, for it knows this is not the life I was meant to live.  And yet, the tension on the lines is necessary for faith to fly.

The strings wound up on these handles, though amazingly thin, are strong and connect me to hope. There is glory at the end of this wad, if only I have the courage to unwind the tangle to the One who is in control of all things. Surely, this very trial was divinely orchestrated by God to deepen my faith in Him.  I don't want it to be wasted, but rather, to dip, dive, and soar in a dance of beauty.

And so I wait for Him in surrender, looking, not at my hands, nor at the wad of string, but at the eternal reward. Here I find true joy that is not the opposite of suffering, but rather its companion.

The winds have not ceased and the problems remain.  Yet, in faith I rest, because He is bigger.  And in this place I find a peace that surpasses all understanding, a peace that rides on the winds of adversity.

"...but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith."  Heb. 4:2

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."  Heb. 11:1