Sometimes, grief catches us by surprise. It’s been over twelve years now since my father passed away. Recently I stopped by a media business to have my wedding VHS recording transferred to DVD. Not only did my father give me away in marriage, he also made the wedding video for us. He thoroughly enjoyed technology and worked on video projects. As I entered the business it reminded me of my dad, and the urge to weep came over me. Early on, this was a common part of the grieving process. Over time it became less strong and less often, and I could speak of my dad with peace. But once in a while it still catches me by surprise!
I always feel a bit of a thrill when I see buds forming on branches. They are the promise of spring! As I notice seasons change, it makes me think about seasons in our lives. I journaled about this the other day, and I’ll share with you what I wrote:
We all have hard seasons in our lives. In these desert places, sometimes there is some thing we are waiting for and want, like a career change or people to connect with. Or, there is some thing we are living with that we don’t want, like illness or a difficult relationship. We hope and pray things change quickly. But when it doesn’t, how can we live and love well in that season?
I’ve been thinking about how God is life-giving in the midst of stress, suffering, and the various hard things we often experience. Jeremiah 17:5-8, the “parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land” makes me think of alkali flats, an area near my home.
Out of the corner of my eye, I became aware of a flock of black birds flitting outside our back windows. A large number of birds flew together searching for food. It’s winter. Cold. Rather barren. And in the midst of these realities, God provides food for the birds in the form of small fruit on our tree. This makes me think of Jesus’ words:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” ~Matthew 6:25-27
Merry Christmas, friends! When I think of Christmas, my heart is drawn again and again to the verse in John 1 that says “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” This begins Jesus’ life of love lived in the flesh with us. It is amazing that our God would connect with us this way! It is life changing when we allow His love to define who we are. Let’s listen for the voice of Love this Christmas.