Daily Gratitude Year 9-Day 136: Today, I am grateful for mile markers.
The three pictured here have grown up in our church family. Each one has a special place in my heart. What an honor it is to teach children about the ways of our God. My prayer is that each one will know Him intimately in a way that will carry them through any curve ball life pitches. Relationship is where peace is found.
It has been a week of highs and lows... and we aren't done yet. Life can certainly be a roller coaster ride at times... but our God never leaves us afraid and motion sick. He sticks with us when we want to throw our hands up in the air with delight. And, when we want to throw up because everything feels wrong.
He never leaves us alone or lonely. We need only cry out to Him and we will know he hears our pleas. He doesn't move. He doesn't hide. We need only be still.
I am reminded of the two blind men on the road just outside of Jericho. They sat hopeful when they heard Jesus was coming. The crowd tried to silence them, but they would not be quiet. Jesus was near. They would not miss their chance. ("Not going to miss their shot!"... thanks Earworm for a little "Hamilton" music.) They had heard of his miracles. They would not let the crowd discourage them.
"As Jesus and the disciples left the town of Jericho, a large crowd followed behind. Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” -Matthew 20:29-30
Jesus hears them, pauses, and asks what they desire. He grants them their sight. Unlike many who were healed and went on their merry... at times... ungrateful way, these two men took up their mats and followed Jesus. I love their story. Lows... highs... and mile markers.
Our Sunday School class did a series awhile back. I don't even remember the name. What I remember most was the commission from Romans 12:15: " Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep." I have had the passage stuck on replay in my head ever since. I've tried to do better. Sometimes, I still fail. We can be far from perfect, but if we do these two simple things, it will please our Lord. Shared griefs and shared joys.
Most of us enjoy the celebrations. Many fear the moments of sorrow. But, in those shared sorrows, we find the true blessing of being believers together. We are a family. We are not without hope. Death is not an end but a door to a new beginning. We weep because we love. We celebrate because we love. We have hope because Jesus broke the chains of the grave and set us free from our sin debts. "In Him we live, and move and have our being."
Full living means doing both. We won't always understand the "whys" or the "why nots". We do know we can press on because Jesus never quit. Jesus fulfilled his commission. He completed the assignment. He is the reason that in joy and in sorrows... we are still free.
We are only midway through May. We are not done celebrating, for sure. The weeping will continue, too. Grief takes time. Life is full of highs, lows and mile markers. Some markers we will plow through with aches, pain and discomfort. Others, we will cheer and chase the celebratory moment.
Today, I am grateful for mile markers.