Of course as soon as I say things like, "I'm going to find the things to be thankful for" there's bound to be more things to be discouraged about: strep throat, colds, being housebound some more, teething babies. Just last week, I was thinking about trials that I've faced in the past: loved ones dying unexpectedly, loved ones suffering through cancer being declared cancer free and then dying of cancer very shortly afterwards, family members experiencing job loss, friends losing babies, friends losing parents and other loved ones, friends moving away, moving ourselves, potty training--I know in the light of all those other things it doesn't seem to measure up, but potty training is one of the most trying parts of parenting little ones in my humble opinion. Anyway, I was thinking about those things and the words of a new friend who shared that sometimes she wishes she could go back to when she had a brain tumor because of the closeness she had with the Lord during that time. You see, sometimes I think we get everything backwards here on earth. We long to be comfortable and safe. We long to have every base covered and feel no fear. But if we are believers, if we have confessed our sin to God and repented--turned from it--and accepted Jesus' payment for our sins by his sinless life followed by death on the cross and his defeating death and hell by his resurrection from the dead, then this world is not our home. We are here for a little while, a blink of an eye in the scheme of eternity. And while we are here, we are to glorify God and enjoy Him. Now, don't misunderstand, I'm not asking for trials, but I am reckoning that when I'm in the midst of trials, it is then that I cling to and feel His presence the most clearly. It is then that I see the necessity of seeking after him desperately, as if for water, as opposed to dutifully spending a short period of time reading some portion of scripture that I decided would be sufficient. So last week, as I was pondering, I thought highly of myself and thought, "if only I could have that passion and hunger for the Lord that I had during ... time"
Let's skip ahead to this week. Currently, my 15 month old is crying in his bed...I think we may be giving up the morning nap soon, but I'm not quite ready. He's teething and cranky. My four year old is getting over strep throat--this is new since the last time I blogged and came just in time to keep us from attending Bible study or to allow for our friend to come watch the kids so that I could get out for a couple hours on Thursday. I've had a cold all week. Pete's had a rough few days at work and has been a bit discouraged. How have I responded to this? Have I run furiously to the Lord who I know to be my strength in time of weakness? Sadly, no. In fact, I've probably spent less time seeking Him than what is usual. Ugh...I am reminded of Paul in Romans 7 and throw my hands up and fall to my knees saying, "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin." And thankfully, it doesn't stop there but continues in chapter 8 with, "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." I could probably post the remainder of the chapter, since it encourages me so--the Spirit helping us in our weakness and the fact that nothing could separate us from His love, but I'll stop there. I'm convicted, and encouraged to move forward in His strength, acknowledging that on my own I will fail miserably. Praying that somehow my ramblings will encourage to seek Him and find Him, like we can read in Jeremiah: "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."