while driving, i glance over and the perspective i see of those massive white peaks above massive blue ones is stunning. it is such a contrast as i can almost see the entire bustling city at its base.
they stand there-so strong, so constant, so unmovable, so still. i know that if i were to turn the car towards them and drive closer closer in, i’d lose that picture and see the hustle and bustle happening in their midst too, but here-this view- and they are saying something else.
arrows fly at lightning speed, aimed straight at those sore and weak spots of my heart. they fly from words without, but mostly from words within. they beckon me back into the courtroom before the prosecutor who always comes to steal and kill and destroy. the attack is always strategic, wolves tearing at flesh striving to snatch joy away. always striving to snatch joy away. and they come in all sorts of clothing.
those massive peaks remind me of what is true. like the city nestled at the base of those Rocky Mountains, i am small, resting in the Shadow of a Mighty Warrior. He stands behind me and the wolves scatter.
“But was you not afraid, good sir, when you see him come with his club?”
“It is my duty,” said he, “to distrust mine own ability, that I may have reliance on him that is stronger than all”.”
― John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress
this Stronger One has adjourned the court-the verdict is in. why do i persist in returning? my identity has been determined by the only One who knows everything, the One who calls me beloved even tho He knows everything. He is majestic, He is massive, He is formidable, He is mighty, and He is kind. The Lord Almighty is His name.
in my moments of clarity and hope, i entertain longings, desires, dreams; i look at my laundry/everything/dumping room and form a picture in my head and the steps to take to get it there. i look at my front yard full of hundreds of years of neglect and the weeds that love to grow and i imagine a new picture and all the ways to get there. i imagine the hospitality that i will offer and the enjoyment we will all share with the new space i will create. i look at my 40 year old figure and see the form of my days and how exercise fits just right-right there. i can visualize the enjoyment and joy of all 5 of us getting our heart rates up and the energy and whole body health that will come as a result….. just to name a few.
hope deferred makes the heart sick.
but then i get a call and bring 3 extra little boys home and it’s everything i can do to come up with enough dinner for all of us and a bit extra to send home with them to their sick mom.
but then i’m rinsing out a throw-up bowl one more time and making honey toast for another one who can now keep food down. i’m washing sheets and learning how to sanitize silverware and cups with no dishwasher.
a couple of days to recover, the desires and hopes flood in only to be hit with another round of illness or something else. and the only thing constant is my need for strength from the only One who can give it.
just three days ago i began to formulate a plan of execution for that laundry room. today as i’m walking though to bring medicine to another sick one it stands there mockingly. i let myself sob at all the ways it’s a representative of even deeper things, crying out to the One who delights to show Mercy to me. and together we go to all of the places of deferred hopes. i breath deep and remember that even if my children flunk out of school, even if we are not able to get well, even if i never tackle that laundry room, even if my husband’s travel schedule never ends, even if on this green earth all the people who want answers to our questions will never get them and will go on assuming how if we only did this or this we could be happy and healthy and wise. even if, even if, even if….those mountains crumble and fall into the heart of the sea…
…our standing, my standing, before the King of Kings will not be shaken loose. His delight in me will not be effected by failing grades or messy spaces, or sick bodies, or cancelled responsibilities.
i think back on those mountains, i can’t see them from where i stand, but i know they are still there. and i think of how sure and strong and steadfast my Mighty God is, how He is present in all His grandeur and glory, overshadowing the ins and outs of what feels like a crazy life. deep within i am filled with joy and awe at the constancy of my Everlasting Father.
i will rejoice in the LORD,
i will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to go on the heights.
to draw further in: chapter 4 of Pilgrim’s Progress; The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller, Romans 8, Psalm 46, Habakkuk 3