A couple of weeks ago, I was wowed by who God is. I saw first hand how He could orchestrate things, bringing random people and events together in a way that no human being could ever do. I've seen that before but I always tend to qualify it or downplay it as in, I really think that was God... or Isn't that nice? God sure does answer prayer...
What happened two weeks ago, however, was so random and yet so precise that all I could do was marvel, not just at what God does, but at Who He is, how He can move people and events along the chessboard of life in a way that no human being could ever do. How He transcends time and space. How He can read the human heart, both good and bad, and yet how He, Almighty God, still bends low to hear our weak cries and bring His unlimited power to bear on our infinitesimally puny needs.
Yesterday was a different story entirely. I had a ring-side seat at a funeral and heard things like: he was recovering well from surgery and then things suddenly started going downhill... He shouldn't have died... I don't know how I'll live without him... This sucks... And those words, just like the ones I heard two weeks ago, sank down deep into my heart and resonated within me long after the funeral crowd had dispersed to go on about their daily stuff.
Then, last night some different words, ancient words, echoed through my mind and this morning they are with me still: Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died... (John 11:21).
Lord, if You had been here...
And I wondered how many times human beings have sat at the graveside of a friend, a relative, a loved one and anguished over that very issue: Lord, if You had just shown up a week ago, ten days ago, a month ago, then... my loved one would not have died...
And, yes, I know the rest of the story...
Jesus, the Son of God, answers his grieving friend with a mind-boggling statement and a direct question:
"I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26)
Do I believe this??
Yes. And no.
I mean, Lord, You should have asked me two weeks ago. Then I knew. Now, I'm not so sure.
I would like to wrap this blog entry up in a bow, all neat and tidy, complete with snappy moral and pithy words of encouragement. But I can't.
Because, for me, faith is a real walk in a real world where we are often blinded by "facts" that just don't fit, by a puzzle that seems to have all the pieces one week and then turns up hopelessly missing the crucial center piece the next.
We walk by faith and not by sight.
And sometimes sight, as my niece said, really does "inhale swiftly". I'm sorry - it just does.
So today I'm just sort of clutching the hem of Jesus' robe, thumb in mouth, afraid to let go, trailing behind in the faith walk thing.
Do you believe this, Cathy?
Honestly, all I can say is, "Lord, I'm trying..."
Some days all I can do is hang onto the edge of His robe. Yesterday was one of those days and today looks to be more of the same.