You've brought me here, where things are clear
and trials turn to gold.
This is not exactly the money shot I had in mind, but it does capture one of the sweetest spots of yesterday. (I don't know what you paid for this costume, Aunt Dawn, but I can tell you that 3 years later we are still getting your money's worth!) This happens to be one of two photos I took yesterday. The other is of Donovan's healing stitches, the 5 stitches he got after horseplaying around with Benny Thursday night, and Donovan didn't want me posting that one. This one pretty much sums up the way I feel about Mondays lately. I go to bed Sunday night with a big to-do list and wake up the next morning only to decide that none of it is as important as costuming and tea partying and merriment making. What I love about Money Shot Mondays is that it reminds me to take a closer look, to sift through the ashes searching for beauty. Most days I need that sort of reminding.
Lately I feel like my prayers have all been some variation of, "Lord, life on earth can be so weird." He knows this, I'm certain, but some days that's all I can get out. I feel ungrateful because He's so good to me. But the reality is, life on earth is not Heaven. It gets confusing sometimes. I pray for understanding. And when I can't understand, I pray for peace that surpasses it all.
Life is a furnace and the faithful live by the Shadrach-prayer of only 4 words:
I teach these bible stories to our children, telling them to stand defiant like the three did in the face of persecution...but when the trouble comes, whom do I question? On which side of that furnace do I look for the fourth man? When I'm asking "why", what do I really mean?
The truth about the furnace is, He did. He was in that furnace long before they saw Him there. He is always here. I've read the end of this story, too, and He does. He is undefeated.
He is my hero.
Lord, I enter this week and your courts with thanksgiving in my heart. Thank you for the millionth chance, the escape routes, the 'u-turns allowed' signs. Thank you for your limitless capacity for problem solving. Your sovereignty and the teeny glimpses of the view from where you are.
I thank you that even when You don't, You do.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.