this is life 22.0

this has been a hard week.  working odd days and hours, studying in spare hours, staying up late, getting up early (sometimes), getting sick and the cold sores that go hand in hand, stressing out about fast-approaching deadlines and not enough time…

on monday i was feeling especially worn.  worried i might be coming down with a cold.  headache-y.  stressed.  mostly just tired and incoherent.  the weather didn’t help…normally i like cloudy days, but the day just kept getting darker and darker and it was so dreary and i was so tired and i felt like i couldn’t see, like something kept blocking my vision.

finally packed up my things to drive home from work, hungry, tired, definitely sick by this point, dreading an evening of study because i just wanted to crash when i got home.

and God heaped grace on me.

speeding down the road (too fast probably, because i wanted to get home so badly), i glanced out my window. and there was the most glorious sunset i think i’ve ever seen. beautiful beyond belief. the clouds that had made the day so dark lit up in smoky golden swaths of light, and in the very heart of it all glowed the sun, too bright to look at directly but strong and pulsing with light. and this is going to sound silly, but…i cried. sobbed. while merging onto the freeway. because i had felt so miserable and tired and it was like God decided to tip His hand toward me, to show me in some real and tangible way His glory, which i have no reason to distrust but so often do anyway. like He knew that even though i have the assurance of my dead and risen Savior that my God loves me and is sovereign over all things in my life, it’s easy to be blinded.  He knows that the clouds look so dark, make things so dim, so hard to see…and so, sometimes, in a moment of light, His glory illuminates them and the result is beauty far beyond that of a cloudless sky. like the sad notes in music that are the most poignant.  so that in a way, i think my weeping was not just the result of a long day and the end of my emotional rope, but because i was in awe of the grace of God.  He doesn’t need to give me those glimpses of light.  He would have every right to expect me to remember the proof He has already given, to look ahead to the glory to come.  but in His tender condescension, sometimes, He tips His hand, lets us see just a glimpse of the final beauty to come, whispers to us, ‘I still Am.’

so often i let my heart cloud over, let circumstances distort my vision, dim my eyes…and yet those difficult periods of time, those clouds — those are the very times that display God’s glory most powerfully. without them His glory would be complete, yes, and beautiful like the sun on a blue day. but the clouds give that beauty dimension so that it becomes more…real. understandable. knowable. touchable. and because of that, we see it more clearly.  not only that, but the next gray day, and the next and the next, the memory of that brilliance stays with us so that we can say, the sun is not gone, it is only behind the clouds…and the purpose of  all this darkness is a Light far beyond that i could ever dream of.  

tuesday night, driving to bible study with my siblings, this song came on the radio, and once again, i found myself in tears.

‘i know i need to lift my eyes up, but i’m too weak and life just won’t let up…and i know that You can give me rest, so i cry out with all that i have left: let me see redemption win, let me know the struggle ends, that You can mend a heart that’s frail and torn.  i want to know a song can rise from the ashes of a broken life and all that’s dead inside can be reborn…because i’m worn, and my prayers are wearing thin.  i’m worn even before the day begins.  i’m worn, i’ve lost my will to fight.  i’m worn, so heaven, come and flood my eyes…’

(tenthavenuenorth.worn)

i feel worn.  and i know where my eyes need to be but the ugly truth is that i can’t put them there on my own.  i’m too weak.  and this is where redemption comes in — because God delights in taking ugly truths and turning them into something beautiful.  i can’t keep my eyes on the cross by my own strength…so He puts them there for me.  floods my eyes with light when i have forgotten what it looks like…even the very next night after He has shown me yet again.

so tonight, as i frantically study for a final for which i feel singularly unprepared (with a mix of tenth avenue north, sara groves, audrey assad, and indelible grace in the background)…i’m very much in awe of the goodness of God. His glory.  His condescension.  His patience.  His mercy.

i am worn…and He is good.  and that is all.

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