It’s been nearly a year now. For most of March and April last year I was living in a world centered around packed suitcases, car trips, and hospital visits. One hospital visit is one too many, and there were too many. I was anxious, tired, overwhelmed, sad, a mix of emotions really. Dad was dying. April 23rd was the last day I would see my dad this side of heaven. Much of that day is a blur as he passed in the very early hours of the morning. I was whisked out of the hospital and can barely remember walking through the corridors of the hospital or driving myself back to a friends home. Despite being exhausted I found it impossible to sleep. When sleep finally did come, the world woke up and decided to ring my phone crazy. Those early days were unprocessed days. Slowly, as the task of estate management comes to a close, I am beginning to step back in order to process. I’ve been needing some perspective for a while, a reprieve from the jagged-raw edges of life and the reality of the hard within it’s fabric. I’ve needed a clearing through the snow, a soft place to fall, a shelter in the storm.
However perspective is defined, I love how this verse helps give me focus;
For he will hide me in his shelter, in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.” Psalms 27:5 ESV
God truly lifted me high upon a rock this week. As a surprise gift from my husband I was whisked away for three days to a place that together we adore: Colorado. We love the high places and beautiful spaces that lie waiting for exploration. To me, there is something liberating about the higher altitude, the crisp air, and the slow pace of living in general when we are there.
With that, I must add that Kansas has not seen snow this year, at least not in any accumulated or lasting amount. You can only imagine that I was like a kid in a candy shop. Everywhere we looked there was snow that went deeper and spread farther than we could see. I was practically giddy and definitely snap-happy with the camera. On Saturday we sat by outdoor open fires while snow fell off and on as it pleased. It was a sight that I have always wanted to see. In my thirty-six years, though we travel to Colorado nearly every Summer, we have never been fortunate enough to see it snow-capped.
Until this week…
There was snow, but there was also signs and symptoms of changing seasons, of Spring. Cold was giving way to longer days of warmth. Crusted snow and ice was in the process of melting, taking with it the rough edges of Winter. The scene was altogether beautiful but I was struggling to accurately capture it with my lens, until I stepped back for perspective. Without those crucial steps backwards I was missing vital information that helped make the picture whole, complete. You see, up close we see the storms and the hard. We feel the ice and the rough-worn edges that it leaves behind as scars that nod in tribute to the struggle.
And the struggle is real is it not?
But seasons DO change. They really do. Even when we can’t imagine how or imagine life beyond the seasons, there will be a time when a new season will come, rain or shine. In faith we can have hope and greet it from afar, even if we don’t see an end to the current season in our lifetime. I love Hebrews 11, known as the the great hall of faith chapter. So much life PERSPECTIVE in one little chapter. You can read the whole chapter HERE, but in the meantime, I’ve included some verses that caught my attention:
“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11: 13-16
Don’t focus on the death…
Instead, pin your eyes on the perspective. Eternal perspective. A perspective that reminded the men and women mentioned in Hebrews they were not home but just merely passing through. They had faith that beyond death there was MUCH to look forward to. In fact, they were anticipating a prepared for and personal city of something to look forward to. You and I have MUCH to look forward to as well. Death, to the believer, isn’t the end of the road. Death is only the beginning of an entirely new life that we can’t even begin to imagine. This new life, my dear friends, will be far greater than any season we were allowed to dip our feet into here.
Snow capped-mountains of struggle will melt away. Frozen lakes will flow and grey sky will open up to blue. Something far better will be provided for us in the future that is coming to us as believers.
Step back and look up…
Life’s fabric has the jagged-hard, but it also holds so much beauty interwoven through-out it, especially when filtered through the lens of an eternal perspective. In that perspective, though the snow may fly and the storms rage, we may just catch a glimpse of the beautiful sunrise coming from afar.