Happy Shiny People

16 03 2008

Maybe it’s a really big switch.  Sort of like a your standard on/off switch on the wall.  Flip it up…  on.  Down…  off.  Maybe that’s what it is.

This last year and a half has been like riding a road with hairpin curves with steep drop-off edges.  It hasn’t stopped.  My wife and I are still reeling with the aftermath of her 8 month hospitalization and several near-death experiences.  Emotionally we’ve gotten strong again.  Financially, things are a wreck.  The problem has been multiplied by devastating financial difficulties at the church I pastor.

A very dear friend reminded me today that God’s providence is a remarkable thing.  What seems like a disaster one moment turns out to be a big blessing in disguise.  I knew that – but I also needed the reminder.  When you see even the most optimistic doctor give up on your wife’s recovery, and then she eventually recovers, you learn remarkable lessons.

I’ve never believed that God causes bad things to happen to teach us lessons.  I do believe that God can use the worst situation to bring beauty out of ashes.  I saw that when my mother died of cancer at a young age.  I knew that it wasn’t our Father’s will that we hurt, but I saw Him do some remarkable things in the lives of many people in the aftermath.

And so I sit here tonight resolved.  I can be happy.  I can dare to have peace.  Because I know that nothing can shake the foundation that God has laid, and nothing can hold back the might of His providence.  That’s not feel-good theology.  It’s not pie-in-the-sky pollyanna delusion.  It’s hard earned, hard won wisdom.  I can decide what I’m gonna do with what I’ve got.  Maybe it’s like a really big switch.  I’d rather keep it turned to the happy side then let misery cover me over like Jimmy Hoffa.

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