Back in September, Jeff was cooking my birthday breakfast when he happened upon my ziploc bag drawer. He took the opportunity to poke fun at my marked boxes. In my defense, when the boxes are in the drawer, the quarter, snack and sandwich bag sizes are fairly indistinguishable. So, I write the bag size on the box in big, black sharpie letters.
And I have to admit … that the other day … when I bought a few new boxes in preparation for the return of school-lunch-packing and I slid them into the drawer, it made me quite happy because the boxes filled the drawer almost perfectly. It was as if I had finished a puzzle, placing that last snack bag box into the drawer. There was this wonderful comfort knowing ….
if there were no other spots in my house that were currently in order ….
at least THIS one was. *contented sigh*
And as I slid that drawer shut, I thought about how most of us sssoooo desire order. We want to know what comes next. We want our plans to work out. We expect the car to run when we crank it, the alarm to go off when we set it and the refrigerator to be cold when we open the door. We would like for the children to be obedient, our spouses to be faithful and our friends to offer encouragement rather than talk unkind about us.
But … real life doesn’t look like that. Children make mistakes. Cars break. Spouses walk out.
But, God …. He is constant.
I was talking with a friend the other day and we were sharing how different our lives look today than they looked last year … and how we never dreamed this life five years ago …. and we were wondering how much more different NEXT year may look!
“What if have cancer!
Or have a wreck and am paralyzed!
And I still have no insurance?
What if am in jail!
Or my house burns down!
What if I’m dead!
Who will help my kids?”
“Will I have insurance?
Or a job?
Will my kids be ok?
What if my ex loses his job?
Will I be homeless? “
These are such unsure times.
No matter what life looks like …. everything can change in the blink of an eye.
When Joy and I went to the theater over the weekend, this preview played.
I really, really want to see this movie! I KNOW people like this … families like this!!
“I’m sure you’d prefer to think that Santa Claus brought you presents, too.”
“In my day, families stayed together.”
“Is anybody s’posed to smoke?”
“Be a father. Help me.”
“Marriage is hard.”
And, yes! I was THAT person in the theater that BELLY LAUGHED OUT LOUD
…. off and on during this trailer.
Then came the line ….
” Thank God we can’t tell the future.”
Julia Roberts replies with an obvious knowing … ”We’d never get out of bed.”
And I fell silent. Such a stinging truth.
Each of us “retreats.” Cigarettes, alcohol, sleep, shopping, pornography, work, abuse/bullying of others … we all deal with struggle in different ways.
But, healthy calls out for help. Healthy faces the mess rather than running … numbing … hiding.
And God is there to comfort, guide and love us through the tough stuff.
No matter what life looks like …
whether an organized drawer of brand new boxes of zippered, plastic baggies
or an upside down mess of jumbled, half-empty boxes ….
rest assured that God can and will walk you through.
He won’t wave a magic wand and “fix” it all,
but He will offer strength, guidance and peace
as you make your way through this surprising, messy maze
that is life.
Psalm 108:4 For great is Your love, higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.