Did you ever play the cloud game? My kids and I were driving down a hill home in traffic on a beautiful sunny PNW day and the imaginations flew.
That cloud looks like a dinosaur.
Hm. I see an elephant!
Oh… Wow! Me too!
That’s loving Jesus. Sometimes when I look at this fragile, crazy, beautiful life God has chosen me to walk on with Him I look at it kind of like the cloud game. What is this! Sometimes it’s more like throw up on your couch, down to your carpet… Like really God? What am I supposed to do with this? It’s gross. It stinks. (Maybe some angry choice words. That would be R rated or bleeped out by the FCC. Like really. I’m just being honest.)
Whether it’s clean and crisp like the clouds…or smelly and cruel like the throw up…what are you supposed to do with this?
The finesse of serving in the crazy,the chaos,the mediocrity or the pain of life… It’s definitely an art. A practice.
Not many will look at the vomit and weep with tears of joy for the gift of that child in their life (let’s face it, it’s usually kid vomit.) That breath in those tiny lungs. The stains that remind us of the love that was birthed deep. It’s easier to breathe that spring air and close your eyes and fearlessly fly through the clouds like life is just fantastic.
Maybe for you it’s more like a bomb went off. Maybe there’s pieces missing. Maybe there’s damage everywhere. Maybe there’s hot tears and repeated questions and fearful stagnant waiting. Maybe there’s a deep burning ache and an anger at heaven… A wondering of why God? Where God? Is there a God? There’s a longing for days as simple as looking at shapes in the clouds. But they don’t come. You pray over and over hoping desperately for relief. But there’s silence. It pierces like a knife to your already broken heart. You don’t even want to think about what’s in front of you let alone the breath you are seemingly cursed to have in your lungs. Hope? Not really.
But then God.
I assure you. From my once broken and bleeding heart to you wherever you are… But then God.
This story birthing before your eyes is more than a profound mystery and more than a clotted mess. It is the very life of God weaving and showing you His deep passionate love for you, the very one he made in your mothers belly from His own perfect likeness to be birthed into imperfect and sin scorched humanity to cover, cover you with the love of His own flesh. Did God make the mess? No. I assure you. No. (James 1:17) that’s the mess of sin in our world. But God will absolutely use it. All in good time. His good time.
This messy story was made beautiful and known long before your very existence on this very day. We struggle to slow to see the very gentle and humble existence of the Savior of the world who is much unlike the very prideful arrogant and aggressive life we suit up to try to survive in.
So that silence.
Don’t speed up.
Merely slow down.
Slow down to the power of an unfailing and never changing God. Who knows the plans for your life (Jer. 29:11) who never leaves or forgets you(Heb. 13:5)whose power works best when you’re weak…whose grace is enough (2 Cor. 12:9).
And start somewhere. Anywhere. Look for the beauty in that mess you’re in. And you’ll see Him.