Off the grid for a few days at Jerry’s milestone class reunion. Won’t tell you which one, but we had loads of fun.
We returned to the news of a sad loss for a family friend.
Once more, I conclude that life is a mixed bag of joy and sorrow, sometimes one on the heels of another. For those going through devastating heartache like our friend, it can feel as if the joy will never come again. However if we allow the sorrow to overwhelm, we miss the joy that’s certain to follow in time. “In this world you have trouble…” Jesus said. The heartache and pain are a given, but he also said, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Eugene Peterson puts it this way in the Message beginning with John 16:33, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world, you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I ‘ve conquered the world.”
Jesus spoke these words in the Upper Room that night seeing the immediacy of the cross, the thorns, and the nails and just before the ultimate betrayal. “But take heart!" he said, "I’ve conquered the world.”
We’re not going to reach a place on this earth where the skies suddenly clear, and we enter a permanent storm free zone. God gives us those seasons at times, but always just on the horizon, difficulties lurk. However, if that’s where we keep our eyes, we’re going to miss so much.
Here, because of our early spring, the petals from the trees have been falling and dusting the ground like snow. To step outside is to be immersed in a swirl of color. Wish I'd taken a video.
As I’m spinning in the seeming fairy dust, instead of just having joy in the moment, I could miss all this loveliness by thinking how we might lose the old pear and peach trees next winter to another crushing ice storm.
As I fight the fears of a far more serious nature concerning those I love, I could forego the joy of being with them now by worrying about looming uncertainties.
Jesus said to trust in him is to be “unshakable and assured, deeply at peace.”
So, by faith, I set my tent pegs of trust firmly in God and camp out there.
Please join me. There’s plenty of room around the fire.Related: All in the Same Bottle