Saturday, June 28, 2014

Over the Lake

It's been a long time since I watched the sun rise over Lake Union. For 3 years of college I was on the water, every morning, rain or shine when the sun rose. I could smell the fresh air, feel the water spraying up around the bow of the boat in the breeze, hear the rowers breathing hard as the boat slid gracefully along the water. But things are different today.

Today I am watching the sun rise over the lake, with the beautiful Seattle skyline in the background. The wind is blowing on my face but it is coming out of an air vent in the wall. The air smells of sanitizer and warm blankets. I am still listening to heavy breathing, but it is not from exercising. Watching the sun rise with an old rowing buddy from a hospital room window is just not the same as watching it together on the water.

God works in mysterious ways. I think we say that to ouraelves and each other to give ourselves comfort when life seems chaotic and difficult. God doesn't work in mysterious ways, He works in ways that are higher than ours. He sees the entire story of our lives at one time, and we see just the snapshots.

We can beg, cry, scream, yell, and curse; but what does that get us? We can plead and bargain and make deals; but again,  that gains us nothing.

When Jesus said that we would have suffering, He meant it. Paul wrote in Phillippians that he wanted to know Jesus so well and be so intimate with Him that he would be able to participate in Jesus' full joy and suffering. And that by participating in Jesus' sufferings, he would be transformed in his spirit and be able to be separated from the grip that death had on his physical body.

When you are suffering it is awful. But watching someone else suffer is a whole different experience. Watching someone you love hurting, crying, and struggling is worse. There are never enough words or prayers at that point. No bargaining, screaming or cursing will change the situation. There is no magic solution, no special prayer to say, no miracle medicine that will work. There is only Jesus. And in that moment of suffering, we can look at Jesus' eyes and plow straight through the storm of suffering; because on the other side there is a transformation where death has no grip.

So for now, we are looking at Jesus' eyes and plowing straight through, pushing forward and pursuing His peace; because in that perfect peace, nothing in this world can shake us. For now we will watch sunrises over the lake out of hospital windows. But that doesn't mean we won't be watching them from on the water again...

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