It’s a Monday in March. Just about a year since the world changed.
Remember when 19 and 20 used to just be numbers?
Twelve months ago microscopes saw what our eyes and imaginations couldn’t.
A crawling earthquake.
Rattling our presumptions and shaking our autonomy.
What happens when fourteen billion knees buckle? We now know.
And we’ve slowly become aware of something that our pride would rather ignore. An inconvenient understanding has dawned:
Answers aren’t always easy. Because faith isn’t.
Now for the stuff that’s hard to hear.
Christianity and comfort aren’t cousins. Sometimes they’re not even related.
If you’ve been told the mountaintop is home, you’ve been lied to.
Perhaps one of the greatest lessons a year has taught is a fresh, more accurate, more biblical understanding of faith and suffering.
Faith is not about our ease. If it was, we’d be the object. That’s called pride, not faith.
Faith is trust placed in someone. And as a Christian, I choose the object of my faith to be Jesus Christ. I believe that through his life I am made acceptable to God. Brought near. Not by what I do. But by what he did.
His past. Giving meaning to my present. Pointing to a shared future.
And in that faith, I find the ultimate lesson learned:
That there is a purpose in everything because the Father has a plan.
Even when the world’s unhinged.
Even when understanding flees.
Peace. That’s greater.
How? Because the ability to cope with what happens in our lives is directly tied to who we think is at the center of our lives. And when we outsource the middle, we give up what didn’t fit us anyway.
And then we know.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
– Romans 8:28
Did you catch it?
How do we know something? Well, we just understand it. That’s the intellectual part. But not the only part.
There’s the involvement. We know because we’ve gone through it.
It sometimes it isn’t fun.
We’d rather skip it.
Let someone else deal with it.
But foundations are built on it.
Hope springs from it.
God allows it.
It and that and still-to-come. They work together.
We see it. And we know.
That God is able to rescue. But he’s also able to sustain.
That God is able to deliver. But he’s also able to strengthen.
And that life isn’t one miracle after another. It’s a growing awareness of the presence of God.
It’d be a shame if all we did with the COVID season is experience it. Let’s mine for what’s embedded.
And be reminded again, of the joy, the thrill, the sorrow, the suffering, the loss, and the difficulty.
All of it, a part of life, overseen by a God whose ways are high, whose love remains, and whose character is good.
All things. Good.