I’m just going to come right out and say it. I’m tired. Really tired. It’s no secret that our little family has been in transition since the week before Christmas. New job, new town, new faces, a new place of residence. In the spaces between “normal” and “life” days are filled with creatively trying to entertain a 100% little boy in the foreign spaces of a third floor apartment as opposed to a rolling back-yard while many an evening is spent house-hunting. Each time we walk through a new door I pray and hope that maybe it’s the last one, maybe it will be “home”. The bottom-line is that we are going through a lot of change. We’re feeling up-rooted. I liken it right now to swimming. Not the care-free Summer swims of youth where you frolic back and forth playing games of “shark” or “Where’s Waldo” with your friend from down the street. No, this is more like the training I would go through for swim-team. The kind where you put on a pair of panty-hose just so that you create friction with the water. The idea is that if you could swim fast against the manufactured “drag” then you would cut through the water when you didn’t have them on. Wearing panty-hose in the water just plain stinks though. For one they are incredibly uncomfortable and it’s hard, very hard, to swim without great effort. Long distances amazingly find you sweating through the water as opposed to slicing through it and those long-distance swims? Well, I figured out what the gutter was created for. Change right now feels very much like a long, panty-hose laden swim through life. Granted there are wonderful things about it. We love our new community and even more many of the people we are meeting and who are quickly becoming friends. But there is an unknown in change as well. An insecurity in the questions we don’t have answers to right now. Those unknowns and insecurities can quickly manifest themselves into fears that create their own amount of friction and tension. In many ways, I’m re-learning how to swim. Today was one of those days where I kept focusing on the question marks and dreaming up worse-case scenarios. Instead of swimming I started to feel like I was sinking. On my toddler I can see it in his face when he’s about ready to have a melt-down or that he’s had it. His eyes get a little bigger and his bottom lip quivers. If you try to pick him up and he doesn’t want to go his legs will stiffen as he plants himself firmly in an all-out protest on the floor. There are some days I truly wish I could just let out all of my frustration like that. But I can’t, I’m an adult, right? Sometimes my welling emotions do not want to act like one. And then, in the midst of my mini-meltdown today, I was reminded of the Game Changer. The storm may be brewing but that doesn’t mean it has to carry me away with it. Today in my reading I was reminded of where my gaze needs to be.
“His (God’s) call to courage is not a call to naivete or ignorance. We aren’t to be oblivious to the overwhelming challenges that life brings. We’re to counterbalance them with long looks at God’s accomplishments. “We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it” (Heb 2:1). Do whatever it takes to keep your gaze on Jesus.” ~ Max Lucado, Fearless
Today that “whatever it takes” meant that I began to cling to old and trusted scriptures as I drove down the road fearful that we’ll never feel at home again. Just thinking of the verses didn’t seem to squelch the fear that was rising in my heart so I began to recite what I could remember out loud. It didn’t matter that I was driving down the road. As those scriptures hit my tongue the tears hit my eyes and dripped behind my sunglasses. You see, my heart just desperately wanted to feel a sense of security again. I honestly don’t understand where we get it in our christian heads that God’s will means a lack of messiness or a sense of ultimate well-being and security. Sometimes there is a fair amount of storm and insecurity in God’s plans. In the midst of the storm and insecurity of life God often grabs a hold of our attention, reminds us that He is with us, and teaches us more than we could ever learn than if the waters were glass-still. God can calm the heart in-spite of the storm if we simply keep our gaze on Him. It’s a lesson in trust. Even if the job fails, God is enough. Even if we never own a home again, God is enough. Even if life is uncomfortable, God is enough. Even if we make mistakes well yes, God’s quite big enough to overcome those too. God controls the storm, He’s in control. Even of my mess of emotions and fears. His promises are great and new every morning.
“Faith…is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes. I know that by experience. Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable, but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable…That is why Faith is such a necessary virtue: unless you teach your moods “where they get off,” you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of it’s disgestion.” ~ C.S. Lewis
“Feed your fears, and your faith will starve. Feed your Faith, and your fears will.” ~Max Lucado
So, I’m working on keeping my eyes on Christ and feeding faith in order to let those fears starve a little. God is a rock and a cornerstone. There is nothing this life throws that could diminish His truths or ability to overcome. Perhaps, more than anything I just needed to be reminded of His presence in my life today. It’s a simple concept that is all too easily forgotten. Rainbows co-exist with storms you know. They are God’s promise of His faithfulness in the midst of them, a reminder that he saves and not destroys. I’m going to try and keep my eyes on the rainbows.