I listen to Christian radio a lot. That is when "Go Fish" or "30 Bible Songs and Stories" are allowed to take a much needed rest. When we drove to Florida a few weeks ago I pulled the middle of the night straw. It only lasted for about two hours - although it felt longer - I was at a loss. I know a K-Love station has to exist somewhere between Kentucky and Alabama, but I couldn't find it. So I settled for some other random sleepy song station that kept the kids asleep.
Somewhere along the way Anne Graham Lotz came on. She told a story of a woman who would go to the church prayer meeting each week and bring her husband's shoes. Every week she would pray for him until "he would be there to fill his shoes." Her point was what are we doing to live in faith? How are we living faith filled lives?
As you all know, faith is not my strong point. Trying to be faith filled overwhelms me from time to time. I stop looking at the face of Jesus and start focusing on the size of the waves I am walking in. Rarely do I take the time to realize that no matter how hard things seem in the moment, my life is really pretty simple and easy.
Right now, life seems anything but easy. I hate - with all my heart - seeing my kids grieve. I know that grief has its place in life. Grief can bring hope. It is a breeding ground for empathy. Grief can bring healing. It shatters walls and opens the doors of the heart if we will let others in.
I also hate what the evil one tries to accomplish while we grieve. The temporary victory is smeared in the face of the innocent and the seasoned grievers alike. It takes so much faith to say "death where is thy victory." It seems terribly clear right now where the victory is. But it is not a victory for the evil one. It is however a battle hard fought and won. It is a race finished and a crown waiting.
Today Hope sat on the couch and cried. She cried for the Grandma she barely remembers and the Uncle that she dearly loved. Tears poured down her cheeks as she sobbed "I can't find them." I am so grateful for a God who hears. A God who cares enough to whisper to my heart so I can whisper to my child "We don't need to find them. We know where they are. They are with Jesus." The victory is ours. It cannot be taken away.
My reading today took me through the story of Abraham. Hebrew 11 records "By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son...."
He who had embraced the promise of a great nation was willing to cling to the Author of the promise rather the physical, living breathing, little boy tagging along with his daddy, tangible conduit of the promise. I want my faith to be that of Abraham. I want to remember that the Author of the promises is always worth embracing. When I hold tight to him, I never need to cling to anything else.