Toiling.Hoping.Waiting.

It’s amazing how you set out to do certain things in a day. Important things, because, well, they are important. And then in an instant it all changes. And none of it is important anymore.

It is amazing how your heart can feel, well, normal. And then in an instant it is hurting. It’s swollen with grief and you grasp it, holding tightly willing it to keep beating.

It’s amazing how you have no need for the tears resting just below the surface and then in an instant, they are there streaming down your cheeks, running down your neck and you are gasping in anguish.

This, my friends, was the start of my day yesterday. But so much worse for my dear friend Rebecca and her sweet family as they received that call in the middle of the night that told them that her brother, their son, was gone forever.

We are reeling. Me from a distance, watching the tornado wreak havoc on their souls. Them caught in the middle and being pushed and torn and battered by fresh grief.

In moments like these I am forced to wonder. Understanding escapes me and I am left with a gaping wound of wondering. The heart is bleeding out and you look up to heaven seeking the pressure to stop the flow.

My eyes have landed on James 5. God has been using this sweet book in so many different ways to bring me comfort and healing and conviction as of late.

 
Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.
Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it,
until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts,
for the coming of the Lord is at hand… Behold we count those blessed who endured.
You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings,
 that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful…

We are toiling in this life. We are farmers planting things, plowing, digging, pulling, aching, hoping. The crop has not been guaranteed us. We wonder if the rains will come or if the hail will come first. We do our best, we work hard and often we are disappointed, because our efforts did not grant what we had hoped it would. It doesn’t make sense, because the formula should work. You prepare the soil, you plant the seed, you water the ground… it should then produce fruit.

But often times we do not account for the scorching sun, the wreathing winds, the crushing storms that devastate us. And how do we recover from those?

The how is in the …compassion and mercy… of our God.

And in the knowing that this is not the end… strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand

I was listening to a Focus broadcast just a few days ago. They were talking about heaven… how timely. Have you ever said, “When I get to heaven I’m going to ask God…”? Randy Alcorn, author of the book, Heaven, said that really, we wont have to ask. Just seeing God face to face will make it all clear. Just the sight and full, unfiltered presence of the Lord will quiet our questioning hearts, will silence the “what if’s”, will reassure our doubting wonderings.

In our unglorified state we do not even have the capability of understanding the dealings of the Lord. The why’s, the how’s.

That is why he tells us to be patient. There will come a day… there will.

In the meantime, there are tears and toiling. The grief cuts us open leaving us raw. We ache for truth and for healing. And I ache for my sister who has ached for me in this real-life friendship we share.

I will go to her tomorrow. I will cry with her. I will listen. I will bear her burden as if it were my own. I will pray and beg for healing. These are the important things now.

And I will be patient as I eagerly await the coming of our Lord.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

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