But you know what? It didn’t kill me. Though I thought it might. It certainly had the potential to. I thought I didn’t have the strength to go one more day. But the next day, the sun rose again, and my feet found the floor and moved forward.
I didn’t think I could handle it. And I was right. In my own strength, I couldn’t. I didn’t. And I’m not. But with God, all things are possible! (Matthew 19:26) That’s what’s engraved in the cross around my neck, and even more it’s invisibly etched in my heart; it’s the fiber of who I am.
See when you experience your BIG BANG moment, chances are it’s going to be one of those things that makes you question everything:
- Why did this happen to me? Our family? The person I love?
- If God is good, why didn’t He PREVENT this? Or FIX it?
- Or for God’s sake, allow me (us) to AVOID it all together?
I’ll tell you why. Because none of us are spared. In this world, you will have troubles…..
You know it all too well. If you’ve suffered, you know John 16:33 by heart by now.
We don’t get out of life without our share of sorrow or suffering. We also don’t get out of life ALIVE. It’s true. We have to make our peace that we are but a blip on the timeline known as eternity. And in so accepting, making peace with the question:
Okay then, what does it all mean? What’s the point of anything in life?
You have to find the answers. In the midst of the worst struggle—the most aggressive cancer or disease you are sentenced to live with, the scariest nightmare realized, the worse fear come true, or the harshest experience ever endured, you have to CHOOSE:
If I never get the WHY of my questions answered, then how do I incorporate this into my life without being bulldozed by it? How can I choose my suffering so that I can thrive, not just survive?
Everybody is different. But for me, well a little time on the carpet, the vinyl, the place where the dust bunnies frolic is the best place to start. On my knees. Looking up. Reaching out. Trusting. Hoping. Knowing that to be true, which I can neither see or prove:
That there is a God. And He really is faithful, involved in this, grieved by this, moved by this, working on this behind the scenes,and loving each of us thru this in so many tangible ways:
- The prayers of others
- The kindness of friends and strangers
- The peace that sometimes comes and surpasses understanding
The wisdom to know that when fear creeps in, He is bigger than all of this and returns the moment I ask for Him to.
I took a picture of the moon tonight. At first glance it was just a white dot in a black background. I shot it from multiple exposure values: aperture sizes (determines the amount of light let into the lens), and shutter speeds (how long the shutter remains open). You know what? Despite subtle differences, the pictures looked pretty much the same. Dull. Listless.
But once I opened it up in my favorite photo editing app appropriately named LightRoom, I pulled the lever labeled “Clarity” over to the right about 100% to be exact. And voila! Stars appeared. Stars I didn’t even see with my naked eye when I originally took the picture. I zoomed in on the moon to enlarge it a bit. More detail popped out, though somewhat hazy still to my eye. You see I am limited by the lens through which I view all this. Not just my camera lens, but also my human optical lens.
Life is like that. We see our circumstances through the lens of our own understanding. And thus we are born into a life of pain. We sometimes don’t get to see the diamond that is being cut out of the roughness of our life. But God, with his infinite all-seeing eye, who created the moon, the stars, the earth, all the solar systems, and the entire universe, can always see all these details that we can’t.
We feel bitter tears slip from our eyes, but He only sees stars. It is here, He best sees into us; He looks deep into the windows of our soul, and plants a new vision. During our trials, is where God best plants the vision of hope, endurance, peace, and someday—joy.
Life, like photography is about perspective. It’s about vision. It’s also about clarity. There’s contrast involved—we can’t know light (goodness) if we don’t have darkness (evil) to compare it with. We see our life thru a macro lens, up close and personal. But God sees our lives (the big picture) from a wide angle lens that makes the Gran Telescopio Canarias (it has an aperture of a whopping 409 inches!) seems like the width of a gnat. He also can see very detail up close, as if using an electron microscope, seeing the detail of our cells not even a billionth of a meter wide. He can see every speck of us—perfectly. And He can see within us, what others can’t and sometimes what even we can’t see in ourselves: Our hurts, our dreams, our fears, our desires, our hopes, our passions, our purpose, and most of all: our potential.
Sooner or later in life you may have one of those cataclysmic events that can only be described as The Big Bang. The rest of the world hums merrily along unaware that you nearly lost your hearing, your vision, your sanity, and quite possibly your life as this cosmic collision internally implodes in your life.
But hold fast. Trust in a God big enough to swallow your fears and your doubts. Through applied pressure, extreme heat, and gravitational pull, know that God is forging something, better, refined, and new. He ordered the universe outside of you; He can certainly order, rearrange, or repair if necessary, the micro verse within you. Wait upon Him. Something beautiful is being made from all this. Trust in Him to reveal it all at exactly the right time.
BANG BANG! Now pray!
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
“Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. Don’t waste your pain; use it to help others.” Rick Warren – “The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?”