Thursday, April 26, 2012

Back To It

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.

That’s the beginning of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, back in the day. Right now it is one of my favorite passages because it’s pretty personal but full of imagery. The last two months have been a whirlwind of teaching an online English course full time, traveling around the state of Texas a couple times, helping with garage sales, partially coordinating a ministry program at church, helping an in-law move and settle into a new apartment, and trying not to let my own home turn into a dusty pile of socks, pull-ups, and junk mail. If only we could send back the junk mail, labeled, “spam.”

I haven’t been able to think much, let alone sit down to write in quite a while, and it’s about time to get that going again. I still struggle with the vast library that is currently available to the world and can’t help but think that my words and thoughts don’t really amount to much, relatively, but I’m not going to let that stop me. Even little words make thoughtful sentences. And to be honest, when I sit down to write a bit, the world slows down, and a small feat is accomplished that can be checked off the List and I feel just so very satisfied with creating and completing that little task. The world gets a little smaller, but just a little more orderly at the same time.

And so we get back to it.

Life continues on in its whirring buzz. The clouds drift by, the wind howls in the corner of the apartment complex, and the black and orange butterflies continue to hatch. It’s not particularly dramatic, exhausting, or eventful, but it’s the end of another day and as far as I can tell all is well for now. That in itself is affirming.
The hum of the air conditioner; the dark night floating down upon the earth; a bit of a comfort, isn’t it? Let us once again share our comfort, our work hours, our pressure. Lessons in patient endurance are never easy to learn, and I have a feeling that my toddler’s naptime tomorrow will only be another hurdle. So we rest easy for the evening and amass the quiet while it lasts. There are enough moments of dismay waiting; for tonight we turn the blinds and lock the doors to its shadow. For we are not dismayed; He is our God. He renews our strength in the lull of battle.

And tonight, maybe we are small words in short sentences, arranged on the lips of the sleeping. But that’s tonight. Tomorrow we are long-winded and silly.

Tomorrow we get back to it.

It’s good to be back.

I hope I get to stay here awhile.

The blank page is comforting and cozy, and I like to lounge out in the dark leather chairs. There’s a thick rug under foot and the place smells like chocolate chip cookies. I hope you will stay as well; we can share a pot of coffee. 

And we will recover our strength, fortify our hope, and bask in the warmth of His ability.

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