“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 ESV
Look around you. Everything can change in just days. Every little thing is God’s way of saying.
Notice the beauty in the weathering.
A lesson in everything, I told someone and she agreed.
Sort of like giving God the question, the messes we find ourselves in and the consequences of them.
Being intentional in the after of it, pausing and expecting to see the whole thing new.
If we will listen, we will learn from the God “reframed” whatever.
Stay teachable, allow change, don’t resist growth not despise the maturity most disguise, don’t want to own their own “aging”.
I’m wiser now because I am more open to God’s wisdom, not my own.
Learning is not a harsh or punitive lesson.
Sometimes it’s a surprise, an acknowledgement that your take on something was spot on, now continue, confident in a graceful way.
Your lesson is not a license for remorse, your accurate assessment is saying,
You matter to me. I’ve noticed you. You have great value, your longings and your confusion as well as your questions, they are valid, significant. God
Yesterday, I thought to tell my husband it felt “tropical”, the air early morning.
Instead, I told him the air felt stormy.
Today, there’s a difference of about thirty degrees and the air is fresh and cool, rain rejuvenated.
I’m likely to speak artistically, to be descriptive in an odd way.
My legacy may include that, “Lisa loved to use unusual words.”
That may be spoken of me when I’m no longer here.
I scribbled next to my “surrender” circle, “my thoughts”.
Left it there and then felt it float above my head most of the day.
How simple it was to jot it down. A challenge or a big heaping helping of peace if it were to be so.
That my thoughts would be only good or at least not so overdone, rewritten, transposed on my heart, the beating down of unknown.
If every single thought was hemmed in, buffered, not allowed to run off course on its own rabbit chase…
That would be what I hope is my lasting legacy.
Confidence in God.
My life verse? It evolved from the words “quiet confidence” a very long time ago.
I looked for a description of my daddy for a tiny little ad to memorialize him. I rarely read my Bible then. I’d seen others use verses as a way to remember the deceased, to honor them.
Since my daddy was quiet, it was my hope that in heaven he was confident finally.
At least that’s what I hoped people would see, that my father wasn’t so well known in small town Georgia, in terms of success.
But, in heaven he at last was confident.
I kept it for myself. I’ve tossed it over in my mind, made it my brand. I’ve pondered its true meaning.
“For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling,”
Isaiah 30:15 ESV
I cling to the two words most.
My granddaughter and I walked again on Wednesday. We didn’t venture far and our pace was a little lazy. I held her and we pivoted from tree to field, from sky to other end of unending open sky.
An ancient grey tree caught my eye. Maybe hidden until the space was cleared for a family’s home. A tree that had grown up years ago and not planted by man. These trees, this forest grew up over time, naturally.
Not by force, not even pruned or cared for. The tree with the weather making it tough, changing its appearance to what I decided is beautiful.
We change over time too. Circumstances can toughen us, make us either angry or resolved.
I wondered what the tree stripped bare of the fuzzy growth would be, thought of peeling back the layers.
Left it though, the beauty represented the years, rooted and strong, weathered.
Wow, me too.
I am weathered.
We look for the lesson in hardship, consider God’s perspective or we bend under the weight of our fragile attempt to be unchanging, immortal and untainted by the truth of life and death, unavoidable events.
Trees yearn towards God. Brittle arms, branches with tiny offshoot branches…open hands, fingers knowing they’re getting closer to heaven.
So, I’m deciding not to waste any of it. Not complicated situations, doomsday environments and even more proof that I’m not able on my own.
Quiet, confident, teachable.
Last week I discovered that it is only found in an ancient and out of print Bible translation, the words “in quiet confidence” instead of “strength” or “quietness and trust”.
I’m clinging to the ancient version, confident because of it.