Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Here and There

 I awoke this morning tired for what the day had in store.  I was already tired at the thought of fighting rush hour traffic to take Nate in to work and for the long conversation I would have with a new doctor about my complicated health history.  I took a shower and packed along God for the ride.  I wasn’t sure we’d talk much or if I’d get the chance for a proper prayer but I knew better than to leave home without him.

When I saw the sun, I thanked Him for a break from the rain.  While at the doctor’s I let Him quiet me in my fears during an intense exam and He helped me breathe when I received the tragic news.  I received a text informing me that someone in our best friend’s inner circle had committed suicide.  My heart was immediately heavy with their pain and their cries.  What horrific news to receive, on any day, at any time. 

Immediately, I began to pray.  Lord, be with my friends, comfort the family, do anything and everything to free them from such pain.  And almost instantaneously I was embarrassed.  Embarrassed that I so desperately call out to a God who is busy dealing with obviously much bigger things.  Then my prayer began again, “Don’t worry about me, Lord.  Please go and attend to much greater things.”

I prayed this same prayer a couple weeks ago.  It was late at night and I was up past my bedtime, watching the wreckage in Japan.  I saw footage of the debris left in the aftermath of the earthquake and I watched live as the tsunami uprooted and destroyed everything in its path.  Later that night, as I lay safe in my bed, I felt guilty that lives were being lost in mass, while I was simply falling asleep.  I prayed a prayer for the victims of Japan and then I laid in shame for my past pleas to God.

Have you ever felt like that?  Like life walks up, slaps you in the face, and your perspective is totally changed.  Who am I to bother God?  My depression, my pain- it’s all so insignificant compared to everything else.  But the beauty in our constantly broken world is that He is with us, all of us.  He is with you, here with me, and present among all of them.

In Matthew, Jesus says, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Who am I to bother God?   Well, I am His child that He loves.  While other cries may be more prominent, we worship a God that is big enough and great enough to attend to it all.  He hears my silly grumbles and is still able to offer peace in the midst of tragedy.  With assurance and confidence He says, “Surely I am with you always.” Today, tomorrow, and forever, I am with you and I am upholding them.

It comes down to this.  God was busy today.  While I awoke this morning tired, fussed over what to wear, and worried about what to cook for dinner, He heard my grumbles and the cries of every other person on this planet.  He never wakes tired because He never rests and meal times don’t concern Him because He’s too busy for a bite to eat.  But, he is busy because He is there.  I don’t have to worry about leaving home without Him because He is everywhere.  He sat with me at the doctor’s office, was with you during your morning coffee, and accompanied many more on an afternoon run.  It was Him that held me in my frustration and pain, brought comfort to those devastated in Japan, and listened to the very last whispers, in the final moments, of that hurting man’s life.

He hears every cry and is present in every place.  The earth will tremble and the seas will roar and our God is with us.  I don’t have to wish Him away to be with those more battered than me because He is more than able.  God is capable of hearing my silly problems and attending to their wailing grief.  And He carries us all. 

Now I can pray, “Thank you for being here with me and there with them.  For loving me and listening to them.  I will rest in your presence while you hold them in their confusion and sorrow.  You are greater than any other.”  Surely He is with us.  Here and there.  Always.

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