When times are hard, abiding is tested, isn't it? Will we rest in God, fully trusting Him when things are out of our control? To rest in God through pain, through misunderstanding, through weariness and exhaustion. I just flew in from Japan and I was tired after 30 hours without sleep. After night and day at a Japanese hospital, my brother-in-law passed away, finally at peace it seemed with himself and perhaps God. For 36 hours we walked through Japanese funeral proceedings, which were very intense in comparison to western ways. We had good times with the family, lots of tears, and goodbyes, knowing that God was in control through the pain.
As I arrived at the airport in Vancouver, I met my husband. We had breakfast together, then returned to the airport to send him on his way to San Jose where his aunt, who like a mother to him, is dying. I drove home alone, to take up life again as a mom of three.
In the night, the tears came. The loss of my brother-in-law, the dramatic funeral process of Japanese culture, the difficulty for my sister and her son as they start their lives without a husband and father, and now the dying of Paul's aunt who has invested in our lives and loved us for many many years, all hit me with the force of grief.
Abiding. Resting in God through crisis, through pain, knowing that God is allowing each of these things and is working His will and good out of everything no matter how hard or painful it is. He is teaching us, developing us, conforming us into the image of His Son, through tears, through pain, through circumstances beyond our control. So we rest in Him, loving Him and sit back in Him to see the lesson He has for us to learn, knowing He is good and loves us with an unquenchable love. He is sure and steadfast, even when life on this planet isn't.
I am reminded life on this planet is short. It's only a breath really. A blink of time. We have birth and new birth and physical death. Yet in new birth, we are born into eternity and we live forever. So while we are at home in our bodies, we are not yet fully home with the Lord. As we leave this physical world, we are united fully and completely with God, our Father and Maker. We are eternal beings and what we see on earth is only a shadow. Our walk is by faith while we are here, trusting God who sees the unseen and knows the number of our days. He knows His will and He perfectly works it out, teaching us and growing us through every moment, every experience, every joy and every pain.
He is a good God. He knows just what we need to grow. He grows us through suffering, so in the midst of suffering, we can rejoice, counting it all joy, knowing God is in control and He is creating a masterpiece through the tapestry of our lives.