Squashed

Confession:  I killed a cockroach with my Bible this morning.

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It was all pretty horrifying, both the presence of a cockroach on my dining room table AND the fact that the first thing I picked up to kill it with was my Bible.  I didn’t have time to think.  All I knew was that this creature needed to be disposed of quickly and the Bible was right there.

Of course, I should get points for the fact that I was in the middle of my quiet time at the moment, which happened to be 5:35AM.

The cockroach has since been disposed of, and the Bible cover has been properly disinfected and my horror has diminished somewhat (not completely – people know how I am with bugs), but being the “lessons learned” kind of gal that I am, I figured there was something to be gleaned from the incident.  And whatever I was doing for my quiet time prior to this was obviously off track now.

So it made me think.  Am I that quick to pick up my Bible when other things shatter my peace?  When doubts and fears and questions catch me off guard, is my Bible the first thing I go to?

Do I run to the promises of God when Satan is trying his best to undo me?

Squash.  I’m going to remember that squashed cockroach for a long time.  Maybe every time I pick up the disinfected Bible.  And that’s OK.  Because in that Bible is exactly where I need to be.

 

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.                 Hebrews 4:12

“Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”  Jeremiah 23:29

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.               2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Good

I woke up this morning thinking about the fact that Good Friday, or at least the events that unfolded so many years ago on the day that we’ve come to call Good Friday, didn’t appear all that good at the time.  As a matter of fact, they were pretty horrific.  The One who was supposed to save the world was crucified.  Dead.  Gone.

Or so it seemed.

But we know the other side of the story.  We know what happened 3 days later.  We know that what appeared so awful, so hopeless, so final was really not that at all.  Things were happening behind the scenes that nobody could have imagined.

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And as I processed those thoughts just now with rain pounding against my window (how appropriate for today), I realized something that I just can’t get out of my head.  That day, “Good” Friday, stands as the ultimate example to us of why we can trust God when things happen in our lives that seem awful, hopeless, maybe even final.

Good Friday is good because God was at work in the darkness.  He didn’t stop being God when there was a betrayal, an arrest, a crown of thorns, nails, a cross, a lifeless body, a tomb, a big stone, guards and weeping. Lots of weeping.  He still had a plan.  One that only He knew about, one that only He knew would unfold in His perfect time.

Of course I can’t even begin to compare my “momentary trials” to the cross.  My frustrations and disappointments and unanswered questions are nothing…NOTHING…when seen in light of what Christ suffered that day for us.  But when I look again at the events of those days, I see a God who is always at work.  I see a God who brings light out of darkness, who redeems hopeless days in ways that bring Him glory.

And I am reminded that He wants my trust and my faith when things seem anything but good.  We only know today is Good Friday because we’re on the other side of it and we know the outcome.  A resurrected and living Savior.

God works all things for good.  But sometimes He chooses to work behind the scenes first.

 

How great is the goodness that You have stored up for those who fear You!  Psalm 31:19

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.  1 Corinthians 2:9

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28

 

 

 

 

 

Hope

It was good to see hope last week.

I saw it in rows of freshly plowed dirt, trees with no leaves (yet), tiny crocuses pushing their way out of the brown remnants of Fall, and neighbors emerging from winter caves.  Hope came in the signs of Spring.

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I miss the northern seasons.  I know, I know.  I live in paradise.  Where there are swaying palm trees and white sandy beaches and azure waves and flowers blooming all year long.  But there’s something about seeing the defining divisions of the year.  Summer.  Fall.  Winter. Spring.  Especially Spring.

Spring Break gave me the chance to be with family and see…Spring.  We walked among the rows of dirt at the Community Garden.  Some would-be farmers were already starting to turn the soil over, getting ready to plant.  A few were cleaning up the remainders of last year’s harvest.  Then we walked under the bare trees – still leafless, but with little buds swelling at the branch tips.  The crocuses were up – white ones, yellow ones, purple ones – bathed in the warmth of sun that was a little higher in the sky, always the first flowers to herald the change.  And people were out and about, with neighborly greetings and smiles.

It felt like hope.  It looked like hope.  The winter is over.  Things aren’t quite what they will be in a few months, but there’s no doubt about it.  Things are beginning to change.

It made me want to look for hope in my own life.  I think sometimes down here in the land where the seasons are so subtle, I forget to look for it.  The days can seem the same, blending together so that suddenly months have gone by and years have gone by, and I haven’t taken the time to actually stop and look for the evidence of things beginning to change.  I want to notice when something pokes itself out of the dirt.  I want to notice when something I thought was dead starts to bring forth a tiny bud.   I want to prepare my soil for a new season of planting and growth.

I’m glad God doesn’t have us jump right from Winter to Summer.  And maybe I’m glad that God doesn’t give us everything we want as soon as we ask for it.  Because there’s something special about that period when you start to see the signs of Spring.  When you start to see…hope.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.  Hebrews 6:19

That they may set their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments.  Psalm 78:7