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"For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." I lived on the banks of a river . . . and it captured my attention. These are my observations about the parallels between my life...and the river.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Time passes

Nearly two years have passed since I wrote about the river. I no longer live on its banks. It is almost as if the river ended at the ocean and the last two years have left me floundering around, trying to keep my head above water.

So much has happened. Two more sisters got married. One is now separated. [Life does not always unravel the way we expect or plan, but somehow God can still work in the ashes if we are willing] My father has been gone for four years now but just tonight I thought I saw him at a gas station. That was enough to shake me up a little when I realized that it wasn't possible because he's not alive.

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Spring has arrived after a very long winter. Isn't it interesting to see how the seasons in our lives parallel the seasons in nature? Change is good. Change is necessary for growth. Death is necessary for new life in some situations. Sometimes we must give up one thing only to find that something better comes into our lives.

And sometimes we just have to give up things. And oh, the pain.

Where is God in that? Where is God when we find something we love so dearly, that fits so perfectly, and then it is taken away? What is He thinking up there? How does it make Him feel to allow us to go through such pain and loss?

These questions and many more have been ever at the forefront of my mind as the river has spit me out into the cold, dark, monstrous ocean.

What would happen if I just stopped fighting? Fighting for air, fighting to keep my head above water. Fighting to reach solid ground. Fighting to form a plan for survival.

There are days of great success. Days when the winds are not so strong and the sun shines warmly and I can make much progress. There are even days when I can celebrate and enjoy the nature that is all around -- maybe swimming with dolphins or laughing at the antics of sea otters. Such fun-loving creatures! And there are some days when I feel that I have finally reached solid ground, finally getting somewhere, finally able to breathe and relax. I can see the shore!

But then another storm comes and takes me even deeper.


There's a word we use a lot. "I want to go deeper..." with Christ, with our spiritual journey, with friends and relationships, with knowledge and experience.

But deeper is not fun when you're not in control! There's some scary stuff out there and I, for one, would love to be able to rest in the shallows for a while! I would like to climb out of the ocean, out of the river, out of ALL bodies of water, and just rest on the shore soaking up the sun and not moving.

Not fighting.

For survival, for progress, for advancement, for air, for life.

Just resting.


Sleeping, even.

Jesus says, "come to me everyone who is weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest."

Oh, how I long for that! Jesus, I am sinking....I am so weary. Please let me rest. Take my struggles, my fears, my sin, all the things that hold me captive, and hold me in Your arms. Protect me and give me rest. Much needed rest.

I love the ocean -- the waves speak to me of His awesome power over the universe. They speak of his steadfastness and constancy. Even if no one is around for miles and miles and miles of beach, the tide will still come in and go out. It works in order, on a schedule, just as He designed.

I love that. I love that all of creation functions in the way He designed. Tides coming in, flowers blooming, bees buzzing, snakes slithering, rabbits hopping, squirrels gathering, trees shedding leaves and growing new ones. It all works in harmony according to His plan. We are the ones that have marred it when we brought sin into the world.

And yet He calls to us. He pursues us. He offers us rest and shelter from the storms of life. The storms we have brought upon ourselves.

And in the midst of it all, He gives us moments of success, of joy, of love and laughter! So much more than we deserve. What a wonderful, gracious and merciful God He is.

Thank you, Father...your little girl is coming for rest....