Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Place Where We Begin

I remember in my youth building caves in the piles of snow that were accumulated by the plowing of our driveway, or by the clearing of a path to the house, through snow drifts . These large heaps of snow afforded us the space to make caverns and tunnels, which much to the worry of my dear mother were favorites for hideaways for hours on end. There was always the warning, "Be careful, it will cave in and that will be the end of you!". But even though there were those frequent mishaps, I always seemed to survive the collapse, and the end, but I could never understand why all that work need be destroyed so quickly. That was just childhood folly... we spent hours rebuilding again.

In discussing Psalm 22:1, Denis Lane, director of Overseas Missionary Fellowship, wrote that when the roof caves in, the first question that often comes to us is the same question Jesus asked: My God, my God, why…?”

Lane said: Asking the question is perfectly natural. We all ask it. There is nothing wrong, but that is usually the place where we begin.… God does not always answer our “why” questions, but He does understand our asking them. Jesus was given no answering voice as He hung upon the cross.… The resurrection was still three days in the future.

I wish that I could say that the roof has never caved in, but that is not the case. Through the years there have been moments that I felt the weight of the roof as it fell on my shoulders with a roaring crash. Some years ago when told that I may have Thyroid Cancer and would need some drastic surgery, my heart was broken and my life held the weight of the coming crash. We all have those moments. But God is in those moments with us.

My life did not end... hence I am here writing today. Nor did I in the end need to have some radical surgeries. God was in the midst of answering prayers, He was at work changing sickness into health, He was healing me to go do other things. I know what Lane meant about our cries being heard, but not having them necessarily being answered immediately. There has to be a place from which we begin... a place where we give it all to God and let it be what He wants it to be... without losing hope.

Years ago I had to let go of my mother, as she went away to the "cure" for T.B. for a whole year. It was a time of testing. She held us at arms length and told us that Mommy has to go away, but that she would be back. Our tears of fear were there and my little heart cried out in my own way; "My God, my God, why?" (I was known to sit on the front granite gate post at a very early age of around 3-4 and talk to God.) Even then, a child's heart can grasp the concept of one greater who hears our cries, our petitions and our general conversations. Was it mere chance that God would speak to one so small? Was it mere circumstance that brings a settled soul to the edge and expects that soul to be calm, non-resistant and accepting of what may be?

This is the place we sometimes find ourselves... the place where we begin. Many will ask, begin what? Begin to let go. That is the difficult part of the exercise. Letting go of that which we can not change. Being willing to accept that which is before us, yet ready to live life faithfully to the end. There is no secret formula. Most would not recognize the ingredients until they were faced with the conundrum before them. Looking into the face of that which you can not change is humbling, yet strength comes not in the resolve to conquer, but in the release. A peace that enables the pain, even of the cure.

Well, life is a joy most days, when we let go and see the morning mists and watch the sunsets and be reminded that it is all for us. Imagine that... all for us! So if the sunrises and sunsets are for us, so are the storms, the disasters and disappointments... they are all for us to experience and begin again. This morning as I strolled down to the waterfront, just a few feet from our house... I had to begin again... a new resolve to be happy, be content and let go and allow God to finish His work begun in me.

Yes... each sunrise is living on the edge.. the edge of another coming day and each sunset the edge of another day at its end... awaiting a new dawn... a new edge! Blessings!