Dark Autumn mornings beg me to smack the snooze button. At my dimly lit desk, coffee steaming into the quiet, I felt a pang of jealousy of as I read Acts 8: “When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.” (Acts 8:39 NIV) I would like the Holy Spirit to physically relocate me, I thought to myself, which is exactly what happened to Phillip. (Zondervan)
There are many pandemic days burned into the permanent section of my memory. Days full of shock, tears, heartache and loss. Normalcy has fallen by the wayside, and it’s been hard to cope. We miss hugs from friends, seeing smiles in person, and sharing live laughter. 2020 has been a very hard year.
The generation currently navigating junior high has a skyrocketing suicide rate, and they now pile on the anxiety of quarantine. My daughters are in 7th and 5th grade.
The patch of sunflowers I planted in late September had a slim chance of surviving long enough to bloom. Yet today, I cut the first batch and brought them into the warm house. Miracles do happen, and life can bloom despite of the odds stacked against it. In the midst of heartbreak over what they haven’t been able to do this year, my daughters have chosen to remember where their strength comes from. My oldest will clunk up the stairs from the basement in her pointe shoes to show me what she has been working on. Her grades, even though she had been zoomed in for much of the first quarter, were straight A’s. Today, a photo gift she made for a friend arrived in the mail, and she wore a new outfit she bought with her allowance to zoom into school. As I write, I hear her laughing with friends on a group chat.
When I told my husband the buns were on the stove next to the crock pot this morning, my youngest daughter laughed at no less than ten of her own “bun” jokes. Everyday, she has us rolling in laughter, despite of these dark times. This girl, who tends not to communicate with the same word count her older sister does, shared with me on our ride to school today about her nightly conversations with God.
God could physically pick me up and move me. He could change our circumstances …make it easier …ease the pain of isolation… Jesus wept and prayed for God to change His circumstances, too. He was isolated and deserted as He was crucified, unjustly. He endured all of the pain of this world voluntarily because He trusted God’s will. So in moments of isolation …I choose to remember the source of my strength.
Jesus gives me the perspective to see my situation through the filter of hope, and the blessings He’s sweetly and faithfully embraced us with in 2020. The laughter, long boating days in the warm sun, lunch dates during the school day, late night talks, and time with my girls who will disappear back into their busy lives as soon as they resume. I’m not glad its happening, but I know where my strength comes from. Acknowledging personal hardship is important. Tears are healing and some anger is righteous! But I know beyond what I can see, feel, and plan for …God is always on the move …and He is always good.
Remember the verse at the top of this post, and the man who went away, rejoicing? Phillip shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with him, and he was baptized! His joy was a sign of new life, and evidence of the Holy Spirit. (Zondervan) 2020 has taught us not to hang our hope on our plans, routines, and goals. All of those things are good, but His plans are more than we can ask for or imagine. It may get worse before it gets better. We were never promised life would be easy. But, if we unplug from the manic media and choose to tap into our real source of strength, we can live joyfully even in crazy hard times. Dark times. Jesus links arms with us through it all.
(Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary of the New Testament. Copyright 2002.)
Hello, 2020,and 2021 are sealed. Today is New Years 2022. The 2’s surely a good sign. In 2020 I followed your 5 Advent Wreath prayers, and sought them out again this past Advent, reciting prayerfully in the dark and candlelit space. Your prayers are lovely. Now I’ve found your blog, and look forward to reading more of your posts. I stopped consuming media last year. It shields my soul and is a gift of time for holy reading, prayer, exercise, friends, tasks around the house. God bless you for sharing your gifts!
Wish everyone a blessed 2022 of joy, worship, faith, hope and unity! 🙏
I enjoy your posts and your prayers very much
Just like good food you know when it has been made with love
Joy in the Dark & Miracles Do Happen; both a blessing and encouragement today. Your words speak to the heart. There is sunshine streaming in on my morning time now, but it was dark not that long ago….
hi meg, many, many thanks for the content i find on the crosswalk website that i enjoy reading daily, your prayers and the writings that support them are a real blessing and sometimes a good reality check, it always helps me to understand the smaller things i overlook, and also the greater things i sometimes underlook, everytime i see the works you publish it never fails to resonate in the most positive way, im sure i speak for a lot of people when i say we really appriciate you, god bless to you and your family my love! by john of manchester, great britain.
Thank you so much for your words. I just read your article in Crosswalk on “boring scriptures” and I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you so much and God bless you and your family. Merry Christmas!
Thank you sooo much
I enjoy your posts soo much
Gary Gardiner c. 216.409.8999
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