It’s Black Friday. The Schrocks et. al. have made the annual trek to their favorite ice cream stand in all of the world, for in this season they’re sellin’ fresh trees. Boys mill, pick and choose, and then the tree’s loaded, pints of ice cream tucked ‘longside. Season’s greetings! And there’s peace on The Three.
Lights are strung, ornaments hung, and then it’s time for the Family. Reverently, young hands remove each figure from the box. Three wisemen. A shepherd. The animals they tend, and then Joseph and Mary and the Child. Beside him at the counter, I stop. And look at the grouping.
“Did I do a good job?” says my son, the arranger.
“Ah, but you did.” My mouth says the words, but my heart’s fallen still. I’m beholdin’. Just lookin’. And rememberin’…
“As for God,” the ancient text proclaimed,“His way is perfect. The Word of the Lord is tried.” Standin’ there, these are the words that come. Words that came, actually, some months gone by in a time of great pain, crisis sifting.
“As for God, His way is perfect.”
My body is there, feet planted on floor, but my thoughts, they go flyin’, go racin’. For in a distant city, a mother is dying. Her daughter’s a very close friend. They’re both hurtin’. This is not how they wanted things to end. Disappointin’!
Another friend has been motherless since cancer devoured. Now the monster’s come callin’ for her father. Looking at the Family resting there in my kitchen, I remember the day that she’d told it, how her widowed dad was investing in his family.
Standing by her table there at the coffee shop, she’d told me how he’d purchased a van. On purpose. For the sole purpose of picking up her children and her brother’s children and taking them back and forth to school. Twice a day.
I remember how the words had tangled up in my throat as I’d listened. Finally, just three had un-knotted. “You. Are. Blessed.” But now, this blow out of nowhere. Time’s short.
“As for God, His way is perfect.” The words, they loop in a circle, and I’m thinkin’.
Thinkin’ of children who’ve made terrible choices. Who went flat-out runnin’ for far countries.Disappointin’.
I’m thinkin’ how parents can make big mistakes. Unknowing, we’re painin’ our children. Disappointin’.
Spouses. Friends. Leaders. Fellow employees. Down here, we’re all disappointin’. We’re not perfect. Life (we sure know this) doesn’t always follow a rose-colored plan, and we feel the sting of a world fallen. And that (yes, you know it) is disappointin’.
“As for God, HIS way is perfect.” His way is perfect. His way for our families. For our parenting. His way for our marriages. His way for our friendships and the workplace. It’s perfect!
God’s way–and I believe this–is perfect. For me! The way that He’s chosen to take me.
For this, my friend, is where I now stand. I trust in His love and His leading. I trust His great heart. I trust His intentions, and I know that He knows what He’s doing. And how to help me.
God, my true Father, and Jesus, my Shepherd, they know the best path for my healing. For my freedom. For the transforming and re-newing of my mind. How I love them.
Now, you. You who down here know the sting, feel the pain and the scourge of the “disappointin’.” What’s truest for me is true for you, too. His way with you? Well, it’s perfect.
It’s perfect! It’s good, and it’s safe to follow. His goal is Christlikeness, then Heaven.
From one traveler who knows “disappointin’” to another, we have every reason to be hope-full. To rejoice! We can rest all of our weight–all of our wait–upon Him, for He is well able to carry us. And this hope, He has promised, won’t disappoint.
For Him, for His kingdom, for the next generation,