Sunday, April 27, 2014

House and Health Update and Finding Happiness in God

It's been a strange, unsteady kind of year. My imagined future is constantly shifting.

Yet spring is blooming in more ways than one. 

As I walk through the streets of High River, the sun peaks out melting the snow and exposing the remnants of our flood ravaged town.

I can't help feeling like I've lost a year. A year of play parks and library visits. Of bike rides, swim lessons and warm evenings by our fireplace. My toddler is turning three soon and I hardly remember how that happened. The anniversary of our flood is only a few short months away.

Our waiting to return home may also soon be over. Tradespeople and inspectors come and go from our little High River home, and with each leaving we are one step closer to returning.

My health is better then it was in the fall. Not perfect, but improved. So far I have not had to take any of the drugs commonly given for lupus. I'm continuing to give attention to newly discovered food sensitivities, mineral/vitamin deficiencies and getting enough rest. So for now I wait and see. I hold my quest for health with a loose hand, because I know that ultimately, God holds my destiny in his hands.

Foggy Delusions

This past year my theoretical principles have been tested by practical realities. I'm humbled by the fact that I've struggled at times. If God is all I need, then why do I long for a dishwasher, laundry, bathtub and windows that keep the draft out? Why am I grasping for the day when we will return to our home in High River with it's modern conveniences?

I am tempted to hold my breath and wait. To survive the present so I can "get my life back." My foggy delusions obscure reality.

I forget that in this moment of sickness and seeming poverty, I am actually whole, rich and free. I am clothed in the beauty Christ's righteousness and my sins are forgiven because of His blood shed for me. I have an eternity of glory with the One I love most. Free to enjoy Him unencumbered by my sin and all that trips me up in this life. Surrounded by the great multitudes of believers who also revel in His holiness an grace. An inheritance unshakable.

From time to time I get a bad case of spiritual amnesia. I am foolishly waiting for what is already mine.
Thankfully, God's grace is greater than my spiritual blindness. It is greater than lethargy, depression and stupidity. He is faithful when I am not.

Finding Happiness in God

It's becoming quite clear to me that being optimistic about our circumstances is not the same thing as finding happiness in God.

Don't get me wrong. It's a wonderful thing to see the positives in our situations and to be thankful for the little things. But being optimistic and positive about life's curveballs can feel a little trite when you are in the trenches. It's kind of like the parent who tells their kid to "eat their broccoli because some kid somewhere in the world doesn't have anything to eat." It's true, but it doesn't make the broccoli taste any better.

Thankfully, God doesn't want us to pretend we like our circumstances or to have a forced cheerfulness. He wants us to be honest about the fact that we don't like the broccoli even though it's good for us. It's not really about the broccoli. It's about learning to love the giver of good things.

He wants to He wants us to "taste and see that the Lord is good!" (Psalm 34:8). 

As Jonathan Edwards said, "There is a difference between having an opinion that God is holy and gracious, and having a sense of the loveliness and beauty of that holiness and grace." (A Divine and Supernatural Light)

For me, this is where the rubber meets the road. No matter my circumstances, I can taste the loveliness and beauty of God. Looking back to what Christ has accomplished in the gospel for me and looking forward to the fulfillment of His promises. 

For those who have eyes to see, He can be found. His Son, Jesus Christ, has made Him known. He has revealed himself in His word, in history, in his people and in nature. Glimpses of His grace and glory are painted boldly for our feeble eyes to see.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
    my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
    he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

My trials are nothing compared with the tragedies of many. But even baby trials require baby steps. So putting one foot in front of the other, I walk forward in faith, knowing that God is preparing me for eternity. As I view each day's circumstances in light of what is mine in Christ, I get a happy surprise. There is nowhere else I'd rather be than here--rejoicing "in the hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:2)