Thursday, September 20, 2012


I love September. The air outside is getting crisp. The sky is my favorite shade of blue. The sun tickles my skin as opposed to burning it. Routines are being established. On the surface life is beautiful.

Below the surface my heart is heavy. More families/lives are collapsing around me. Time and again, lives that looked so enviable, rocked by tragedy. Life can be brutal. I find myself wondering: Is this what midlife looks like? Is this the season when people/relationships start to show signs of their age & wear by falling apart? How many others around me are secretly struggling? How can we learn to love and support one another in a way that helps keep things from getting desperate?

This afternoon I was praying about how to encourage people in my life who are in the eye of various types of personal storms. I want to show them empathy, love, grace & truth. I don't want to just share more trite, cliched or empty words.

Then I stumbled across this quote from Pastor Tullian Tchividjian:
Jesus doesn't stand at the top and shout down, "You can make it." He stands at the bottom and whispers, "It is finished."

Thanks, Lauren for the graphic.
Our culture of self-sufficiency adds to the pressure, doesn't it? It urges us to hang on, fight, keep trying harder. Jesus says cling, lean in, abide, obey and trust.

We focus on the circumstances, our fear about the future and what might happen next. He urges us to keep our eyes on Him and His eternal perspective. When will we learn to stop looking at the storm fearing the fallout and focus instead on the only one in history with the ability to calm storms by the sound of His voice?

I am bewildered by the way things happen in this world on a daily basis. My heart gets tired of caring sometimes. There are few easy answers. I don't know why God allows all this suffering to exist, but I am reminded by the words of Tim Keller to "look at the cross of Jesus. It can't be that He doesn't love us. It can't be that He is indifferent."

Do you see Him, the Son of God, hanging there, cover this? It breaks His heart, but it has not caught Him by surprise. He has already fought this battle and won. It may not always feel like it, but it IS finished.


Melanie said...

Just emailed your post off to my daughter in college struggling with the tired heart of caring so much.

Thank you.

HW said...

For the past 7 months I have watched my dear friends live with such grace and faithfulness for HIS will. In January, they buried their daughter after her six month battle with leukemia. She was diagnosed the day she gave birth to her precious son. In their
60's, they are now part time parents to a one year old. That precious little boy was six months old when his mama left this earth. This, after their daughter's first child was taken from them in a shaken baby/child abuse case. They have buried their first grandson, and then his mother - their own little girl. Through it all, when others ask "How do you carry on?" They simply say "It is what He has called us to do? What else would we do but carry on?"

I do not know how and why God allows heartache to be heaped upon his people - and some seem to get dose after dose of crippling loss. And yet, we learn from them. I find myself keeping my eyes on them to learn and to grow; to watch them is to see Jesus. If THEY will not take their eyes off Him, then I certainly cannot.

dee said...

I needed to read this, thank you! We are coping with the last stages of my mother-in law's cancer, and she so wants to be "self-sufficient." And, my sister-in-law was just diagnosed this week with breast cancer. I want to know how to REALLY help her.

Kristi said...

It is amazing how your posts and current life experiences frequently mirror my own. I am in a season of watching much turmoil around me. And yesterday, while trying to get a focus to pray for, I realized we all just need Jesus. Keep our eyes on Jesus. Much pain in this world. Saddens me greatly. I really like the quotes you used today. So glad that you have a blog...and so glad I found it!