Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Irony and awe

As most of you probably know, I am far more at home with irony than with awe.

Every once in awhile, though, wonder breaks through my shell of cynicism. As I was sitting on my back porch the other day, reading, drinking coffee, and talking to God, I was overwhelmed with God’s goodness. The grace was almost palpable, carried on the breeze of a glorious spring morning.

Since graduating from college four years ago, I have lived in two countries and the same number of states. For an introverted, change-resistant girl like me, this is has involved an awful lot of adaptation, forced extroversion, and reluctant courage. It’s also involved a lot of learning, and most of the lessons have not come easily.

Before coming to Wichita, a little less than a year ago, I began praying that God would prepare a place for me here. Frankly, I’d gotten a bit tired of the whole process of picking up my life every year or two and starting over, so I asked him to smooth my path, and to give me courage.

He answered that prayer far more abundantly than I could have imagined. I had gotten used to praying and assuming that, while God would hear, he would end up giving me something far more difficult and unpleasant than I had been hoping for.

I really do believe that God works for good in everything, and that he has done that, visibly, in my own life. I see the good fruit of my difficult times every day. But God has given me rest in the last year, and I am unspeakably thankful. He knew that I had had about as much as I could handle, and he, like a good Father, knew that I needed a break.

This year hasn’t been perfect, of course; it has certainly had its ups and downs. But, overwhelmingly, God has provided. I feel like David in Psalm 31:8; God has indeed “set my feet in a spacious place.”

The irony of it all is that the difficulties I have come through make me realize and savor God’s goodness in ways that I would never have been able to without them. And this irony leaves me in awe.

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