08 February, 2015

Day Five - The Hard Times

 Life isn't easy for everyone. And even those who seem to have it easy, still have hard times. Like, they happened to everyone. Here's a few paragraphs out of One Thousand Gifts, that made me think about those hard times in a different way. I'd never thought about it like this before...

“Trauma's storm can mask the Christ and feelings can lie.
I draw all the hurting voices close and I tough their scars with a whisper: sometimes we don't fully see that in Christ, because  of Christ, through Christ, He does give us all things good -  until we have the perspective of years.
In time, years, dust settles.
In memory, ages, God emerges.
Then when we look back, we see God's back.
Wasn't that too His way with Moses? “When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back” (Exodus 33:22-23 NIV).
Is that it? When it gets dark, it's only because God has tucked me in a cleft of the rock and covered me, protected, with his hand? In the pitch, I feel like I'm falling , sense the bridge giving way, God long absent. In the dark, the bridge and my world shakes, cracking dreams. But maybe this is the true reality: It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can't  see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterely alone, Christ is most present to us, I-beam supporting in earthquake. Then He will remove His hand. Then we will look.
Then we look back and see His back.
I look in my rearview mirror. The bridge I cross on the way to the chapel has fallen behind the hills. I can still see, in memory, the river's winding light, mirror on moving water.
God reveals Himself in rearview mirrors.
And I've an inkling that there are times when we need to drive a long, long distance, before we can look back and see God's back in the rearview mirror.
Maybe sometimes about as far as heaven – that kind of distance.
Then to turn, and see His face.” One Thousand Gifts p 156,157

I like that – God is passing in the dark places. This too reminds me of the song, “He Hideth my Soul”

“He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
That shadows a dry thirsty land;
He hideth my soul in the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand.”

Here's what I wrote about this song almost three years ago: “I never used to like this song, to me it seemed long, boring and meaningless. But that changed when I heard someone else's thoughts about it. If God is covering us with His hand, everything that comes to us: sorrow, suffering, trial - is sifted through His fingers first! God only allows things to happen to us when they've passed by, through Him! “And covers me there with his hand.” Now this song has a special meaning.”And to be honest, I've liked it ever since.

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this - how you 'deal' with trials? Where do you think God is in the darkness? 
Jessica xxx :)

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