Thursday, February 8, 2018

What quenches the thirst in a dry and weary land?

Photo by Robert Murray on Unsplash
INCREDIBLE resolve to endure a season of tortuous extremes. This is what we need when life has taken an unprecedented turn for the worse. Anyone reading this that identifies can, in their mind’s instantaneous memory, locate the exact place and precise time such a calamity took place.
It imprints itself forever on our psyche.
The moment changes us. Perhaps it was the moment of the fuller realisation that what we were in was irrevocable. Maybe there was such a permanent shift in our thinking; something that took us every inch the way to hell to resolve. And we could still be there, on our way out of a cataclysmic state of spiritual paralysis.
Then for others, it’s about having lost our way spiritually — feeling abandoned by God.
What on earth do we do when we face death — the actuality of the end of something we are never prepared to say goodbye to?
In states like these it seems impossible to get enough empathy. What works, perhaps an intense several-hour breakthrough session of intervention therapy, does so only for the day. The empathy in a friend’s encouraging call lasts us only a few moments after they hang up.
When we know we’re in hell we really do know we’re in hell. There is no false allusion to hope. How do we possibly move such a living experience of Gehenna in the healing direction?
There is a spiritual paradox in this truth:
at the end is a solemn and safe beginning, if we trust God. And that process is repeatable.
One thing we can know is a thing known only by faith. It will get better. Life won’t remain exactly like it is right now, forever. It cannot. We are learning. We are being equipped. We are growing in compassion if nothing else by the fact we don’t have the petty strength for pride any more. We are home to weakness, and that weakness borne is strength, because we have the courage to continue, which may well prove to mean we don’t have the strength to run.
The very fact that we get up and walk out our lives each day is its own testimony — we have incredible resolve to endure this season of tortuous extremes.
What quenches our thirst in a dry and weary land where there is no water?
It’s the fact that in stillness we are still sustained by the God of life. It’s the fact that we keep getting up each morning, even if some mornings we can’t get out of bed. It’s the fact that the muscles in our face are so perpetually sore, but they never do break. It’s the fact that we keep stepping. It’s the fact that we realise hardship is the way to the one true peace. It’s the fact that we are enduring more than we thought we ever could.
If you’re trying everything, be pleased that you are doing all you can, and that itself is enough.

Soon enough in time, though not soon enough for us, things will change; the peace of acceptance blows in gently through the wind of change.

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