Tonight I sit, wishing I was here listing gifts, putting still pictures of beauty up. Tonight, instead, I sit and ache. Not really over a dream on hold or possibly lost, but over a day wasted. One of my Easter challenges today: Can anyone tell today that you are a citizen of His Kingdom? Dare I say how glad I am that I was inside my house most of the day. But I wasn’t here alone. Four little children watched their Mom walk about in a edgy daze. One husband who had a half a day off, had to trade a restful afternoon to hold a crying wife. One faithful God had to watch as I started out “high” today only to sit – spiritually and literally – this evening. I sat, though I could have been reading to little children, tickling them, sitting with them on my lap. I frowned though I could have been counting gifts, lifting praises, turning up the music. I sit on the verge of tears not over eternal lives but over temporal wood and dirt dreams.
What will He do with what I’ve wasted? He says He catches every tear, counts every hair, keeps His eye on the sparrow…but what with a day? A day is quick and fleeting and gone, and I want to know if He wastes nothing, how will He redeem this? I will never get this Monday to do over. So how will the grays and browns and dry-ness be grafted into His masterpiece? More waiting. I thought this would be the year of Listening, but I find I am being put in more positions to wait. If I wait long enough, will I hear?
Jesus waited 30 years to hear the voice of His Father say “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.” Mary waited 30 or so years to see the Passion of her young life “go out”. Abraham and David waited hundreds of years for their Promise to be fulfilled. Mary and Martha waited 4 days to watch Jesus do the miracle they thought He would surely do right away. So what about the 30 years…the hundreds of years…the 4 days? What about them? How were they redeemed? How did He “save” them?
If it wasn’t for hundreds of years of faithful and unfaithful and punished and forgiven living, would there have been a line that included Rahab the prostitute, Ruth the Moabitess, and Tamar the forgotten daughter? If not for 30 years of faithfulness in the sight of a questioning, gossiping village, how would Mary have proven why favor had rested on her? If Jesus hadn’t waited 30 years to show Peter, James, and John the Transfiguration, would they have ever seen or have been ready or have been in that place? And if He would have come right away to heal Lazarus, would those mourning people have been there to witness the glory of God? The days counted…to Him. He may not have caught them in a bottle or numbered them or kept His eye on them for more than 24 hours, but He “saved” the moments. He places them in the painting of our lives. At the “end” we won’t see the “hard” strokes, the “gentle” waves of the brush, the “dark” days, the “red-letter” days, the aches, the pain, the joy, the excitement…we will not see these individual moments. We will see a masterpiece; one that didn’t come from a single slab but from all the “days”.
Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely. 2 Thess. 1:11-12 MSG
(Here are a few of the “counted” gifts of my day…)
birds attending their nests
seeing the bright glow of the sun in the middle of gray clouds
smelling the sweet aroma of a blooming tree’s flower
all the blooms I saw awakening
sprouts are growing and growing
crimson pansies for the “blood of Christ”
white pansies for the purity that blood brings
a day of being empty
a husband’s strong arms and faith
a sister’s sweet words
hugs and kisses from a daughter
“i love you’s” from little boys…