Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thoughts Under A Minnesota Sky

Note: This is a stream of consciousness post--a kind of self-sermon. It was my intention to write about my diagnosis. This is what happened instead.

God's faithfulness is best measured by time.

I have been saying it and believing it for almost two years now. We like to think God works instantly like wifi and 4G. We want to believe we can short order our desires and have them placed before us steaming hot and just how we like them in ten minutes' time.

But look at Abraham.
Look at Joseph.
Look at Moses.
Look at Job.
Look at David.
Look at Paul.
Look at Jesus Himself.

God is no short order cook. He's an artist. And He works best over time. Lots and lots of time.

Under an endless, bright blue sky all things infinite come to mind--God, His love, His wisdom, His goodness, His faithfulness, His grace, His mercy, His power. Time. Me--though I am as finite as I am infinite and as lowly as I am glorious.

A marvel--"I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me" (Psalm 40:17).
His thoughts cannot be numbered. Infinite thoughts.
He feeds me and rests me and works me over. And over and over and over.
And even when I don't feel Him, hear Him, or see Him, He hasn't forgotten me because even if He could, there I am--my name, my essence inscribed on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:16).

Oh, infinite love!

I am canvas. He is Artist. And all we have is time. Lots and lots of time.

Waiting isn't the wonder. The wonder is that He is able to paint something so complete and beautiful, something resembling His Son, upon a damaged canvas with limited hues over a single lifetime. Or less.

Here under infinite sky shouting out to me the glory of God, I step back and admire His handiwork. I see order. I see beauty. I see design and attention to detail. I see faithfulness.

The Artist comes to work every day.

I don't know where the work is going, but after years I can look back and see the progress. I catch a glimpse of the destination even if I remain uncertain of the plan. The strokes could transform the portrait any number of ways, but in them I see foreshadows of glory. Healing. Wholeness. Christ-likeness. Christ-withness.

The time has passed slowly for me. But two years, ten years, a lifetime--these are just drops in an infinite bucket.

Things may go faster without anxious twitching, but that isn't a promise.

And don't be satisfied with thumb twiddling in the meanwhile because proper waiting shouldn't be idle. Watch. Expect. Cooperate!

Cooperation in forms of gratitude, joy, and loving service yield the best work, but The Artist has a way of redeeming strokes we throw askew. I should know.

Cooperation is learned by fully facing The Artist. Observe Him. Learn Him. Admire Him. Experience His wildness and find it beautiful. Allow Him to see all the damage, all the flaws, all the shortcomings, and present them to Him. To know Him and be known by Him are the keys to deep-soul smiles, ceaseless thank yous, calloused hands, and a tender heart.

The waiting isn't over, and won't be until the Artist is done. Until the naked canvas is fully clothed. Until I am moved to The Gallery where all His perfect and finished work resides.

Basking in the glow of divine faithfulness and childlike obedience under a Minnesota sky with an Infinite Companion is the sweetest euphoria. Even if the waiting isn't over.

 Because the truth has been lived--the Prize can be had in the waiting.

 And His faithfulness is best measured by time.