Years ago, I bought a stone polisher for one of our children as a Christmas gift. It was a nonstarter. The child for whom I bought it was totally unimpressed. A sibling picked up the discard but, soon, also set it aside. I was a little hurt. I thought turning a small, sharp piece of earth into a newly shined object was a most useful, even fun, possession. Lesson learned: much of the time, we just don’t know what will interest others. Additional lesson learned: do not buy semi-educational gifts for children of a certain age.
I’ve lived more than a few Christmases since the stone polisher incident. I thought I’d have more of the rest figured out now. Or, at least, I hoped I’d “know better”, which my mother always said I should do. Most often, I do not.
Daily living and life, in general, can act as a giant stone polisher. Almost every day, we can find ourselves being figuratively tossed around. Some will say it’s for our “own good” while others will tell us how hard God is laughing; you know the one about if you want to see God laugh, just make plans. So, life is busy scrubbing away the rough spots and God is laughing. As you and I ricochet between walls marked “just coping” and “flailing for relief”, the question, “How long, O Lord?” leaps unbidden to our lips. Then some unexpected act of caring, some thing of beauty inserts itself into our range of sight or feeling. That glimpse of life’s sweet mercies lifts us.
In the midst of internal and external rumblings, we stand a bit firmer with the neverthelessness of faith. We are not at all clear how God is going to work it out and it is still less clear when God is going to get around to applying that polish. What we do know, almost every day, is that God will do it, has, in fact, already worked it out for you and I and for the sake of the world, in Jesus. The attendant particulars, the specific whens and hows are in process. We wait and do what we can with love in the place God sets us (and acts through our little lives made large for others through Jesus.)
In Process with God's Love