And the Not-So-Simple...

I was thinking yesterday about my Simple Pleasures post, and others that I've read this week. I was walking along the sidewalk at church with my four-year-old, on one of those days that is the perfect blend of *just-warm-enough* sunshine and a *barely there* cool breeze. As I was thinking what a perfect moment it was...the couldn't-ask-for-more weather, the soft scent of spring grass, my little girl's soft hand in mine...Ammah Grace began to chatter about our shadows. She was noticing the differences in our shadows depending on where we moved, and giggling as she talked about them as if they were real people. I thought, "here's another one for the simple pleasures list." And then I I was suddenly stopped in my tracks with how completely *un-simple* it was. The little shadow-chaser holding my hand wasn't supposed to be chasing shadows...for a while it was doubtful if she would ever walk or talk. I was reminded for the billionth time in the past four years of God's incredible power and sovereign grace that brought us from being mere hours from consulting with a neurosurgeon about the "brain bleed" that was supposed to cause all manner of brain damage, to this *simple* shadow chasing moment with this bright and healthy little girl. Why have we been allowed this awesome miracle and blessing, when similar prayers for other children have been followed by grief and loss? Not-so-simple, indeed.

Earlier this evening, I heard running water and odd clattering sounds from the kitchen. I wandered in to find my husband washing the last few dishes in the sink. I realized, not for the first time, how blessed (and yes, spoiled :-)) I am to be married to this man. How much I appreciate his heart to please God and his desire to be a godly husband and father. How loved I feel when I see him up to his elbows in dishwater. :-) Why am I blessed with such a husband, when many women pray daily for a wandering husband to return, an abusive husband to change, or a lost husband to come to Christ? No simple answers there, either.

Then tonight I went with a friend to look at a sofa that needs a new home. As I was walking out to her van, a friend from out of state called to share a story she couldn't wait to tell me. We laughed and reminisced for a few minutes and my two friends, who have never met in person, sent messages to each other through yours truly. :-) A short time later, we picked up a third friend to join us on our outing. I got home tonight and realized that in those 2 1/2 short hours, I had laughed until my face ached and been encouraged immeasurably...just by being with, in person and by phone, these three best friends who are each such a tremendous blessing from God. These friends have literally gone from the mountaintop to the valley with me (many times) and have helped carry burdens so heavy I felt like I needed an 18-wheeler to transport them. Why am I blessed with such friends...when so many women express such loneliness and desire for even *one* deep, intimate friendship? Again...not-so-simple.

I've struggled again this week with trials...tragedies, even...that are *so* impossible to understand. The "whys?" of the situations have assaulted with near-deadly force in the past few days. I keep returning to the answers God has given from the beginning...primarily the fact that God is sovereign, His ways are beyond our understanding, and He is in control, whether it *feels* that way or not. The words sound so deceptively simple, but the life lessons behind them are so, so complex.

I'm reminded again that the same God who gives us simple pleasures, and not-so-simple blessings, gives us the not-so-simple lessons in pain, suffering, trust, and obedience as well. I can't thank Him for the simple pleasures, praise Him for the awesome, blow-your-socks-off blessings, and then at the same time grumble....or even rage...about the painful, heartbreaking, impossible-to-understand-why trials of my life.

"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways,' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" Isaiah 55:8-9

1 comment:

t marie said...

Wow. Thank you for this post. I can't begin to explain how it touched me to the core.

I love you. (And thanks for laughing with me last night. I needed it too.)