Every now and then, I click the ‘drafts’ tab on my “ALL POSTS” page out of a desire to diminish the disturbing number of posts begun and never completed.
My drafts folder is a graveyard of thoughts. Thoughts that I never had the time to flesh out or thoughts that I lacked the discipline to fully birth. And sometimes among the words that never made it – I find a draft that I don’t even remember writing, but that still feels so achingly familiar to me somehow.
This is the story of the God of Israel: He provided for His people. He heard their cries. He delivered them from slavery. He led them through the darkness of the wilderness and provided water for them in the dryness of the desert.
And this is the story of how the people of Israel responded:
Yet they sinned still more against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God, saying, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness? (Psalm 78:17-19 ESV)
The Tuesday after December 5th, 2013 I drove with a friend up to our church offices to pick up a DVD I needed. It was late. Past midnight. But I needed that DVD for the memorial service that was happening later that week.
I walked into that office that night for the first time since hearing that my co-worker had been taken from us. I wanted to get in and get out, afraid of that place and the feelings it would force me to face. I knew the DVD was on the far side of the office in my mailbox, but I went straight for the cabinet by my desk. I knew there was something unspeakably precious to me in the top drawer: a scrap of paper with a joke written across it in sharpie.
The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers. (1 Kings 8:57-58 ESV)
What a prayer. I love it. It’s such a picture of the glorious reversal of the Gospel.
What a week. What a month. What a decade.
The theme of the past ten years of my life has been loss. Losing relationships, losing dreams, losing parents, losing friends, losing health. And this isn’t a sad post, because in every loss there has been great gain. Loss has hollowed out channels in my heart for grace to flood in with truth and leave in its wake new life.
Loss has forced me to hold up the people and the things I love with open hands and offer them to the Person I love most. Sometimes I have sacrificed them to Him with joy and peace, and sometimes its felt like they were torn from my clenched hands.