Wednesday, June 8, 2011

In the Colorado Wilderness (redux)

(This is a repost from my old The Harbor blog. This was written during a time of distress and frustration. We went on a family vacation only to have our minivan die on the side of the road in eastern Colorado [which, incidentally looks like Tattoinne.. saw a jawa at Starbucks there]. Now that we're going on our first vacation since this incident, I thought I'd repost it for fun...and hoping it never happens again. Please to enjoy)

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior
Isaiah 42:2-3

These words ring oh so much truer for me now. It’s been a hard couple of days. We were looking forward to some rest, relaxation, fun, and visiting family. And then it happened. Our car died. I mean, it’s beaten up beyond repair. It’s more dead than the career of that kid who played Screech on Saved by the Bell.

Now we’ve been stranded, stuck, in beautiful eastern Colorado. I can see the snow capped mountains in the background. I can see the fir trees turning slightly brown due to lack of water. It’s gorgeous…but not where we wanted to be.

I will admit it, I’m frustrated. This isn’t what I wanted our first family vacation to be like.
These words from the book of Isaiah are words given to the Children of Israel during times of trouble. “When you pass through waters, I will be with you” God tells them. Waters was a way of describing chaos..which I feel like we’re living in right now. And then he says “When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep you over.” Rivers were natural borders between countries and a lot of these rivers were fierce and formable during the rainy season when they were at their peak. When trouble is surrounding us as we pass into a new time in our lives, God says he will be with us. And then he says “When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Basically, to borrow from Battlestar Galatctica, when everthing’s fraked up beyond repair, God will not let us be consumed by it; it won’t take over our lives.

This is supposed to be good news for me, right? “Yes, yes it is” I keep telling myself. “God has a plan and this is part of it” I keep telling myself. And these answers are true and real. I know God is in control, but right now, it feels like everything’s fraked up and not going according to plan.
So this is what I’m doing right now. I’m trusting, I praying and I’m walking forward.

I’m trusting that God will provide. God says that he takes care of us. He will be there. In fact, not a hair can fall from my head without Him knowing or being somehow involved (I spotted a gray hair yesterday…from the trip, I don’t know…but if God’s involved somehow, we’re going to have words). Everything is out of my control. I am at the mercy of others. I can’t have a say right now, because other people will determine what will happen. So I need to trust that God will use these people to get us through this mess we’re in and that it will be a great story to tell later on how great God truly is.

I’m also praying. I’m praying so much that I’ve even set the timer on my cell phone to go off once an hour so I can pray. But part of prayer is also listening. So I’m asking God for help, pleading with him for help, but I’m also listening to his direction and guidance.

And I'm walking forward. This is the toughest part. But I know that God is there. He is speaking, he is active. I remember the verse right before the ones I quoted above where he says “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” I am His. He has summoned me by name. He is mine. I am His. The God of all the universe knows my name and I am His.

I wish I could end on that note. God is here. He answers my prayers. But the answer isn’t always what I want it to be. Right now, it’s “wait.” It s wait.

And so I wait…..

(epilogue--we did finally leave eastern Colorado and made it safely back to Chicago, sans vacation in California. Two years later, we are once again attempting a trip back to California. I might have a blog post or two when I come back. In the mean time, there will be some good guest bloggers on here to keep the blog a goin')

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