How many of our struggles entangle us because we assume that we are to like everything about our lives? ~
GOD is the bedrock
under my feet,
the castle in which I live,
my rescuing knight.
My God-the high crag
where I run for dear life,
hiding behind the boulders,
safe in the granite hideout.
~ Psalm 18:2 (MSG)
This weekend promises football games for all ages: pee-wee, mini pee-wee, pop-warner, middle school, high school junior varsity and varsity…
not to mention college and pro- football.
Each team playing, 100% of the teams playing will have a mascot. A mascot is any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck, or anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name (Wikipedia). One of my strongest and most faith-filled friends was the mascot at our high school.
Perhaps, this weekend, you and I might consider a personal mascot–the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4: 8-37). Despite a life of hardship and disappointment, she lived in praise as a part of her lament. The Shunammite woman answered “It is well” when asked about the grave circumstances in which she lived. I think this was because she trusted the grace-filled Creator’s reach over the reach of calamity. The Shunammite woman reached that “expression of trust” through her circumstances as Stacey Gleddiesmith describes the tension between joy and pain– whether or not these circumstances changed.
We live at the nexus of pain and plenty. To dwell to long in pain results in victim-filled pity. To inhabit plenty for too long results in incentivized entitlement and callousness.
Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is answer “It Is Well” before, during, and after hardship.
“It Is Well” keeps “hardship” from becoming a “hard-whipped.” This weekend, my goal is to Do as the Shunammite woman did in the midst of her impossibilities. I am going to keep saying “It is well” and not wait to believe until I see. Will you also commit that no matter how you feel, you won’t entertain unbelief. Stop it at your door. In the midst of the impossible, say “It is well.”
When the man of God saw her coming, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Look, there is the Shunammite. 26 Run at once to meet her and say to her, ‘Is all well with you? Is all well with your husband? Is all well with the child?’” And she answered, “All is well.” 27 And when she came to the mountain to the man of God, she caught hold of his feet. And Gehazi came to push her away. But the man of God said, “Leave her alone, for she is in bitter distress...2 Kings 4:26-27
Stacey Gleddiesmith’s blog is called Thinking Worship
Sasamoto’s photography reflects onsite images from Hiroshima, Antarctica, and topics such as equity, international relations, suffrage, and world-wide old age.
Here are three jewels of advice from Sasamoto:
Thank you for these words for the soul Mrs. Sasamoto.