Here are a few nibbles that God threw to me this weekend. I found this on a piece of paper on our floor, while I was vacuuming. Don't know the writer, or the book.
"We all face tragedy. . . . Like wrecked cars in a junkyard, they clutter up our hearts with memories of bad days." The writer mentions a number of inescapable physical reminders that some Christians carry around with them. It's hard to escape your past.
"...God can turn any tragedy into a triumph, if only you will wait and watch."
I see this as God's REDEEMING character trait, coming out in force. He does more than just redeem us out of the bondage of sin. He also redeems the sorrows of our lives, altering them into joys.
So many Christians and churches today talk only of GRACE. Grace in salvation. Grace in forgiveness. Grace in wiping away all pain or sorrow, overlooking all offenses. This description of GRACE is all sunshine, all smiles, all happiness.
This is not the grace I know, from the God I know. He said to Paul, when Paul cried out for a horrible sorrow to be removed from him: "No, Paul. I won't remove it. But I will give you grace instead: grace to tolerate and to bear up under the pain." Grace doesn't change the pain; grace changes you.
Grace is more than the simplified variety preached so often today. I define GRACE as anything that God does in my life that makes more like Jesus. Occasionally these are pleasant acts. More often they are painful, because I'm not much like Jesus yet.
The writer uses the Apostle John as his example of someone who "waits and watches." This is John, between Jesus's crucifixion and his resurrection, on that silent Saturday. Between the sorrow and the eventual joy. Before he had any idea that any joy was possible.
I'm there right now. I'm in a state of sorrow, as are some of you. Life is painful. We are called to wait, and to watch for what God will do. I cannot see which particular result of joy is in the darkened distance. I don't want to wait. And I don't want to watch either.
"When it's Saturday in your life, how do you react? When you are somewhere between yesterday's tragedy and tomorrow's triumph, what do you do? Do you leave God -- or do you linger near Him?"
John stayed for the miracle, the miracle he did not anticipate.
I think God sent me this little chapter from a book to encourage me. It has calmed my heart just a little bit more. He is gradually helping me to let go of all the pleasures, and then all the worries, of life right now. The worries are harder to release.