If Only

In today’s world, how can we make it in our upside down reality? We think we know what our lives could be like if only…. everything had turned out like we planned.

If we knew everything or had everything or everyone loved us we would wake up in a different world. Everything would be bright and shiny; smiles all around, breakfast on the table when we got up, dinner on the table at 6pm. That’s what it would have been like if Eve hadn’t eaten the fruit. But, she did. And she didn’t get what she expected either.

Sin is the big UGLY that we all experience. Victim or perpetrator, there is sin in our lives. Large and in living color sin. It sits there like 3-day old fish on the counter making every thing stink that’s nearby. Takes days, weeks even, to get the smell out. Permeates even our clothes and hair… Get the picture? Sin is stinky stuff. It contributes to the “My life isn’t supposed to be this way!”  line of thinking.

How do we do it? How do we work out the problems, the disasters, the grief, the constant sadness of what has happened to us in our lives that have derailed our plans for our lives to the extent that we have gotten to the place where we cry out: But my life wasn’t supposed to be like this! This isn’t how I thought it would be! It’s not how I planned it! I didn’t do anything wrong! I never wanted this!


I never dreamed this would happen to me.

Our souls cry out with longing: How long? Why is this happening in my life, to my family, to those I love, because of those I love? What have I done? What are You trying to teach me? My mother always said:  “Be sure your sins will find you out.”; What sin, Lord, what sin? Where did I go wrong? What did I do to p*** you off? (oh yes I did ask that at one time- and I think it was only once and I’m so sad I did and so thankful for His forgiveness) What is it I am not getting? When will this end? When will I see the light at the end of the tunnel? Why not him and not me? Why not her and not me? What about them, their sin, their messed up lives? Why Me?

And the corker, now to me is this: How come You allowed this to happen to me?  If you could hear me say ‘allowed’ it would be very loud, long and drawn out. Acckk.

Looking back and looking at what I wrote above I notice something that stands out. You probably have, too.

I, I, I, I, me, me, me.

How incredibly self-centered I’ve been at times. There’s no getting around it. Out in the wasteland, out there, it’s terribly lonely and the only one I saw out there was me.

Just thinking about this, I hear the Michael Card song “How Long?”  playing in my head- (you can find it on youtube- just ignore the 80’s guitar solo bridge) His words were taken from Psalm 13:1-6:


How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? 3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, 4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him, ”and my foes will rejoice when I fall.


But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6 I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.


Just writing about this has taken me back to that place, those volcanic feelings erupting all over my day. Ick. Most of the time I’ve read this I’ve stopped after verse 4. I’ve fallen into the crack between ‘fall.’ and ‘But’ more times than I care to admit. I fallBut when I keep reading, the promise is fully given, the trial redeemed. I am set free to praise Him in the cracks and empty spaces in my life. I am free to praise Him for the cracks and empty spaces in my life.  I am free to mourn my plight because He is good to me. And, I am free to offer up my praise for His salvation as long as I draw breath.

I can actively practice trust daily, regardless of what life {God} brings to my door.   And, in doing so I find the gift of His Love in the small and large. In the minutiae of taking the next breath and in the grandness of a sunrise.

Dear friend, has everything happened according to what you planned for your life? Are you worn out because of the constant wrestling with your heart?  Will you let Him meet you in your wilderness?

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Psalm 68:19


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30


Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

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