Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dancing Through the Minefield

With eyes closed, hands raised and tears streaming, Amy sings praises to God with her whole heart. She is 34 years old, a beloved wife and the mother of 4 young children and she is dying of cancer.

Tonya will be in prison for a long time. Drunk and drugged, she crashed her van and her young children were killed. She is a lead-follower of Jesus ready to give a reason for the hope that is within her, equiped to counsel and busy with doing good for others.

Gina, age 14, lives in a world of oppressive heat. People penniless, no beds, living on concrete in boxes. A little sister in a wheelchair, no parents to love and guide. Every day she fights for their stranger to heartbreak and disappointment and no stranger to her Bible, hymns and giggles.

Life is hard and for some people it is devastating and full of tragedy. Suffering is so terribly difficult and horribly personal. I do not know all the answers and I'm not sure it would help if I did. But I do know the One who has the answers and knowing Him makes all the difference. Amazing love, how can it be? That God should plunge the knife in His heart for me - all the while that I am cold and indifferent, dedicated to my sinful life. And then a stone moves, the earth shakes and birds start singing. My chains are gone! I've been set free!

There is reason in the midst of tragedy to count it all joy. We don't have to have the answers to all of life's questions to continue trusting the God who sees and the God who is able to do abundantly more than all we ask or imagine. He welcomes His children with all of our doubts, weaknesses, insecurities and failures. He is not bothered or surprised by that which is lacking because He holds the future in the palm of His hand and knows there is enough grace to cleanse us and enough power to sustain us. He has a plan even in our suffering because we die at the foot of the cross daily and are healed and comforted and transformed It's hard, but it's worth it.

"He's a host issuing party invitations left and right. He's a shepherd leaving the ninety-nine in the field, seeking the one lost lamb. He's a king lavishing a party on beggars. He's got a place reserved. He's interested in relating. I want to know a God like this! Shove me under the waterfall of Trinity's joy, which splashes and spills over heaven's walls. If he's always in a good mood, I want to catch it. If I'm lost, I want him to find me. Part the heavens, Lord, come down, kick aside the money tables, trash the "Don't Touch" rules and embrace me. " -Joni Eareckson Tada, "When God Weeps"

I can live my life in a close relationship with Him and enjoy a life that is passionate and rich no matter how desperate my situation. The book of Psalms expresses the depths of our anger, disappointment and suffering, and yet still brings to life the expressions of a quiet spirit and peaceful heart. We can do this big thing, this hard thing called life.

However loudly the waves crash around me, God is with me as I sail through the storm. However loudly the explosions of life that threaten me, I can dance through the minefield.

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