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THIS. IS. HEAVY.

As I am writing we are walking through a very tumultuous time as a people, as a nation.  We are smack dab in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic and quarantine with plenty of heartache to go around.  And as if that isn't enough for our weary souls to bear, we have the added heartbreak of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer.  Then we have the protests, both peaceful and some not.  A divided nation, a broken people.

Life feels heavy, dark, and very scary right now with no real end in sight.  And honestly, this is enough to break anyone's spirit, rattle anyone's faith, and squash the dreams of His people to be seen as He intended:  made in the image of God.  There's this restless feeling that things may never 'normal' again.  And there's nothing I like more than normalcy, knowing what to expect, and being in control.

I have tried everything within my power to restore a little bit of peace, some semblance of normalcy, and to quiet those voices that say nothing will ever be good again.  And I have failed miserably.  So what else do I do when I feel out of control, feel scared, feel hopeless?  Yah, I do that really healthy thing called running away. 

This time it means physically running away from my life stuck in quarantine for over 3 months to a new location - cuz, won't life be perfect once I get outta here/once I get that new house/once I make more money/etc.  So I picked up my family and we left the Seattle area for 3 weeks.

I was dying for some peace and quiet, some normalcy, some life that didn't include constant conversations about the corona virus or race relations or when are businesses going to open or are my kids going to be in school in the fall.  I was dying to go back in time before any of this mess had started. 

And I bet you can guess what I found once I was out of Seattle for 3 weeks - there was nothing different in my new location other than the furniture.  There were the same conversations, the same concerns, the same heart break as what I had left behind at home. And there is nothing I hate more than being wrong!

Then the still small voice said to me, 'Go back to Romans 8:28'.  Seriously?  Wasn't I past that beginner stage of theology?  I mean really, come on!  I've been a believer my entire life - go back to Romans 8:28?  But I've learned not to ignore the still small voice so I obeyed, for once.  

So I've been resting in the promises from 8:26-30 again, but maybe for the first time I've seen the treasure shared here.  I like the NLT version which says, 

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for.  But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
 
And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will.  And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.  For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself.  And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory.

It slowly dawned on me that there are so many promises here which force me to focus on Him.  And that's what I had really lost sight of in all of this, Him.  I needed to be reminded that my eyes had been fixed on this world and not on Jesus. 

So yes, I had to go back to Romans 8:28 to be reminded of these truths:

He holds us during our weakness.  An image comes to mind of a mother cradling her baby so close that just her presence is enough to settle the child.  How beautiful is that picture of Him cradling us tight during our greatest weakness?

He knows the cries of our heart before they are even known to us.  And not only does He know the heart break, He feels it too.

He makes everything work together for good.  Not much looks or feels good right now, but there's the promise that it will be in His time, for His purpose.

And maybe the best of all, He chose us - how special does that make you feel?!  He called and chose little ol' me who has nothing special to offer Him.  And yet, still He picked me to stand in His glory.  And trust me, there's no better place to be.

All of this doesn't make my days perfect, doesn't change the fact that we are in the midst of great pain here on Earth.  But there is a deep sense peace within me that knows He is enough for me. Period. 

I pray for the day to come when there isn't a soul on Earth who isn't cradled, carried, and known by Jesus.  Until that day I think I will rest in Romans 8:28 for awhile.

 

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