Monday, September 9, 2013

Front row seat.

Fall 2012

construction dust caught in a spiderweb

fall 2012

Beauty from Destruction.

The dishes done,
I set down my dishrag.
Enamored by the view.
My lake-front property view.

And it washed over me ~
This view is a reminder to me,
of God's incredible love for me.
Of his faithfulness.

When I look at it,
I am reminded:
To not look and be taken under by what I see,
But to trust in Him who is unseen.
There is NOTHING like God's faithfulness.
And often times it is the trembling difficult paths
that teach me the most about God's character.
Hard times?
They are a front row seat.
A front row seat to God's faithfulness.
The best seats in the house.

I am learning that there is only one healthy fear.

"Fear the Lord, you His Saints,
for those who fear Him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing."

We crazily, blindly bought this house over ten years ago.
This blessed little haven.
How naïve we were.
Blessedly naïve.
The roof was ancient.
God said -- I've got that covered.
Hail storm.
New roof for the cost of a slight deductible.  An amazing bargain.
Oh.  And a backyard that flooded.  Deep.
God stepped in,
And before a decade of living here had passed?
The backyard was dug up, drains were installed.
The city paid half, the neighborhood split up the remainder.
What would have cost us thousands, cost us one thousand.
Which we just happened to have leftover in our tax return that year.

We bought this house, in an instant, for ONE REASON:
for the forest across the street.
It felt like a little cabin nestled at the edge of the city.
I would seriously stop while putting down the garage door,
stop and just stare as the sun settled behind the trees.
Those beautiful, wild trees.

I would joke, that when we outgrew this house we would
simply add on a second story.
A second story with large windows facing those beloved trees.
A treehouse.
That's where I would sink deep into a bubbly tub in my very-own-bathroom,
up in the canopy of leaves.

And then last fall, that forest was ripped up.
To install a retention pond.
The city decided to trade trees for retained swampy water.
It decided to rip up beauty?
My immediate reaction to the city's plans were anger,
anger, and more anger.
And then -- helplessness.
As I watched the bulldozers and machines make
mulch out of beautiful trees, within the span of a single day.
It wrecked me.
It wrenched my insides.

And I told my husband -- this was the end of our stay here
at this house.
My anchor was gone,
and I wanted to move.

The day that the machine came to rip out trees?
I cried.
Just sat there, watching, and grieving.

Hopelessness has no place in the life of a believer.
Fear has no place.
My husband came home, handed me a blessed band-aid (mocha flavored)
and said, "God has a plan.  You'll see."

And from that moment,
I determined to trust.
To set aside my disappointment and just:  rest in the character of God.

There is a place in our neighborhood ~ my favorite place ~
a beautiful lake, just blocks away.
I often walk there just to sit and think.  Or to hear the cranes sing.
God and I have spent some deep moments there.
It is where I fled to weep over my grandmother's death.
And I would think to myself, as I passed those expensive homes --
how GLORIOUS would it be to see this lake everyday as the view from within?

And as I set down my dishrag today,
it washed over me:
my VIEW.
My front window view.
God brought that lake right to me.

For free.

Ponder this:  He intimately knows the desires of our hearts.

This retention pond is somewhat, strikingly beautiful.
It connects directly with my favorite little lake.
Like an extension of my favorite lake, pulled and molded right to my door.
It is lined with trees,
Less trees?  Yes.
But somehow, even more beautiful as they line the shores of my favorite lake-view.

Yes, this morning I even saw a crane wading in the water.
I have enjoyed a summer's worth of frog songs.
I've watched geese families follow each other in unison along the marsh grass,
and have delighted in the massive amount of dragonflies that ponds bring.

I set down my dishrag and was overcome with truth.
With the truth of God's character.
Why do I ever doubt that love?
With the wave of his Hand,
He brought a gift to my front door.
And asked simply that I trust.
Always, trust.
Trust even in the midst of destruction everywhere.
In the midst of noise, dreams fading, anchors being moved.
Trust that He sees, and that He moves on behalf of his beloved.
Do not forget, little forgetful one.
Do not forget WHO I AM.

And that I LOVE YOU.

Is it possible to weep over a dishrag?
In my fear, and my anger, I almost sold this place.
Almost cashed out before the blessing.
I spent way to much time worrying, and way too little time praying.
And I do that a lot.  With much bigger things.

Control is a response to fear.
Is an illusion.
We control...well, we control really nothing.
Worry sets in as we try to control,
and worry steals our joy.
Worry is a thief that promises to help us,
only it robs us blind the moment we let it in.

Fear the Lord.

He holds the lakes, and the trees, all of it.
He holds our fragile bodies, and our dreams and our children.
Even in death, we win.

Anchor yourself to the One in control.
Blindly, like a child.
Take joy and dance, instead of control and fear.


This metaphor,
of beauty coming from destruction,
of swamp water where beauty once flourished,
parallels much deeper seasons in my life.
And if you've lived any amount of time here on this broken planet,
Life throws curve balls, fells our trees, and rips at us.
Seasons come ~ where it is hard to see hope among the impending.
And when all that is left in the depths of your soul,
is Who lives there.
And you cling.
Cling through the waves and destruction.
Waiting for the beauty that you know will come.
Because God's character?  Is only good.
And He can be trusted.
I have tasted His goodness in the land of the living.
And I remember this sweetness when the bitter waves roll.

"Those who fear Him, lack no good thing."
Fear where it belongs = a content heart.

Go in great peace!
And remember to give grace always,
as almost everyone you meet has broken places
and battles things you would not understand.
Love one another.
~ Love God highest. ~

No comments: