Two things I don’t thank God for

I like this Thanksgiving thing. I like the idea of specific days when you remember and reflect and consider and thank.

I always start my thanksgiving in the usual obvious place: being thankful to God.  I thank God for all that He has given to me, for all that He has done in me; through me.

You know what I realized this morning as I was reading Luke 22?  There are a couple of things I don’t tend to thank God for:

  1. I don’t tend to thank Him for the painful conviction and broken repentance that followed the moments when I denied Him and exchanged Him for the fleeting pleasures of this world.

When faith fails to fix

Maybe it’s my age, or maybe it’s my sanctification, or maybe it’s the end of the freaking world (here’s hoping), but whatever the case: suffering is in the water.

And all around me I hear confusion. Confusion about the marriage of tears and faith.  Confusion about the intersection of pain and trust.  Confusion about the gray area between grief and the Gospel.

Most of my generation cannot cope with the discomfort of ‘negative’ emotions.  We’ve been bubble wrapped from unpleasant feelings and as a result, we have no tolerance for them.  We fix them any way we know how.

Walking with a limp

I keep trying to walk with a straight leg but I don’t have that anymore.

I have a limp.

It’s more work to walk with a limp. It hurts. It slows me down.

But I can hear the voice of my Elder and friend in my head.   In my very first training on teaching many years ago, he taught us: ‘Never trust a teacher who doesn’t walk with a limp.

Letter to a friend

Dear pal,

I totally understand why you’re feeling all that.

At the end of the day – you want to feel loved and supported in this, not just know that you are.  And it’s easy to think – if God loves you and He holds all the cards why won’t He just fix this?  At least one part of it.

I’m guessing Jesus felt something similar on the night before the Cross. I’m guessing, sitting in the garden – deeply believing that the Father was worthy – He asked the question:  ‘Is this really the only way? You’re sovereign and you’re perfect so can’t we figure out another way to do this?

Our Uncomposed God

I’m typing this sitting in a doctors office in Boston, Massachusetts.  I’ve traveled across the country to sit in a chair beside one of my dearest friends in the world and so I can hold her hand while people say really hard things to her and operate on her and give her shots in very unpleasant places.

Recently, I have a bit of an empathy situation. It’s out of control and awkward.  Today my sweet strong friend was doing AWESOME in her appointment and there I was – on the verge of tears.  Hold it together fabs. Hold it together.