Four weeks since I last wrote in this space.
It was a cruel time. It was an average time. A month of typical frustrations and ordinary pleasures. A month which brought notable celebration and devastating news. Confusion and enlightenment. Spiritual dark nights and bright mornings. (More about a recent epiphany in another post, I hope…)
And I can’t share all of that with you. If I were in a season where I could blog daily, I probably would, but then you’d already know many of the details to which I just alluded…for instance that Dennis and I jogged past a major milestone in our married life on May 21st: our 25th wedding anniversary (that’s the celebration). Our mutual friends will already know the devastation of hearing that a good brother in Christ– and one of the charter members of our theatre company– has been given just months more to live.
James notes that the same mouth produces both words of blessing and words of curse, and chastises his readers, saying, “Brothers, this should not be!” But life certainly brings us blessings and curses, comedy and tragedy, on a daily basis.
I listened to a sermon online this morning, which reminded me of the truth that death is an enemy, an evil, and not something that God chooses for His people. Jesus, comforting Mary and Martha, didn’t tell them that it was God’s will to “take Lazarus home”…no, instead He became righteously angered, and He raised His friend to life. God is life and its author. Sin brought death into the world, and we’re stuck with it until God has put everything under Jesus’ feet.
Of course the question with which we wrestle is, “Why does God allow it?” You might as well ask Him why He allowed Adam and Eve to pick their own fruit, instead of offering them cleaned, seeded and vacuum-packed produce that was “safe” to eat. God lets His creatures choose which road to travel, and that has made all the difference.
But just as God is not the author of sin and death, and cannot be since He is the embodiment of Truth, Goodness and Life…so His children, adopted through the blood of Jesus, should not speak both words of life and words of death. The incongruity is an affront to Him.
So as we walk through this mean season, this average daily life, meeting blessings and banes, how will we respond? God, grant me the grace to speak into each moment words of life, love, truth and hope. May my “normal” reaction never be mean or merely average, but empowered by Your Spirit may it bring strength and joy to those who hear.