03 May 2009

running into the tower

I have a very small but very sweet thought on my mind tonight.

Life is just full to overflowing with troubles and hurts. We've been promised by Someone who sees it all that our days, from the time we're born until the time we die, are going to be full of those things. Happiness seems in so many instances to be overshadowed by the bittersweet... and this kind of downer blah-ness could go on and on. Especially since it's after midnight on Sunday night and I'm really tired but avoiding going to bed because I can't stay comfortable in one position for much longer than 45 minutes.

But that's not what I'm thinking about right now.

I'm thinking about a man who lived here and walked on this earth just like I do many, but many years ago. He didn't have much in the way of material possessions. He didn't even have a home of his own. Many people did everything they could to make him out to be a terrible person and some even hated him. His whole life was overshadowed with the awful cloud of a burden for the souls of all mankind. As his time on earth drew short, he wept - alone and scared - and asked God if there were any other way but the way he'd been handed.

But there was no other way.

And so he continued to carry his burden, and he carried it all the way to Calvary where he agonized - again, alone - and died under the penalty of my sin.

He died under the penalty of my sin so that I wouldn't have to. And as if that weren't enough, God's plan through him made a way that I could not only die in the safety of his love, but also live in it.

So yes, it's true that life is bitter. But, thanks to nothing more than God's love and mercy, sweet blessings just seem to fall down from heaven and pile up around me higher and higher until the ones on top start sliding down the sides making the pile even wider and bigger and taller all the time... every minute... of every day.

And it's true that sometimes I'm handed things that are hard to deal with and I have to say a lot of prayers and cry a lot of tears about some things. But I've never yet been handed anything I couldn't handle with the assistance of a mighty and oh-so-near God.

And sure, it seems like the clouds aren't far away from my sunshine a lot of times. But if it weren't for the clouds, could I really, truly appreciate the sunshine?

So, in the light of all this jumbled, scattered mess of thoughts, I finish with this:

I know I have no need to fear the things of this world and this life because I am God's (Isaish 43:1).

I'm human, though, so sometimes I get scared anyway. Thank God that he knows what I'm made of and understands (Psalm 103:14);

...and has furthermore forgiven me in all my unworthy filthiness and claims me oh-so intimately (Isaiah 49:16).

I know it's ok when I have to go crawling to him in a big crumpled heap and am so thankful that he's always there, for the smallest things and the biggest things (Philippians 4:6).

And it's a good feeling knowing that I have somewhere I can run for cover (Proverbs 18:10).