Today I went to Rite Aid and had the disposable camera my son took to Outward Bound developed. This was one of his pictures. I know it looks like the ocean in the background, but he’s actually standing on top of a 10,000+ foot mountain in Southern Central Oregon, one of the Three Sisters (ETA: We talked to him today and asked him about the picture. It is Middle Sister, also known as “Hope”); the white in the background is the glaciers. The instrument in his hand is the ice axe he had to use to climb the glaciers.
Here’s a distance shot of the Three Sisters:
Family Week was an awesome and amazing experience and it leads me to ask, Why does God wrap my biggest blessings in crap? Why? Couldn’t I have sat here all self-satisfied with my parenting job well-done, patting myself on the back and feeling cozy and superior and still learned something wonderful? No, I guess not. It just wasn’t in the cards.
But by going through a trial more difficult than getting off drugs myself and more painful than childbirth and way more terrifying than seeing my precious daughter get married at 19 (which, trust me, no matter how wonderful the guy was, was terrifying), I’ve learned that God is miraculous. And He’s ultimately totally unexpected.
Don’t think I’m sugar-coating anything. The worst is yet to come and we are far from out of this desert. Far from it. Anything and everything is possible, and that’s so scary to a control-freak like myself. But the fact that God routinely offers the possibility of the impossible is what keeps bringing me home to Him. What miracle will He do next? How in the world is He going to form beauty from this pile of ashes that I’ve got here?
The miracle here isn’t my son. That miracle was performed 18 years ago. The fact that the Lord blessed me with children at all is a miracle and completely undeserved. The fact that He gave me two beautiful, healthy children who have been mostly a complete joy to raise should be miracle enough. Some people never even get that. I appall myself with my greed and avarice when it comes to blessings. Like a spoiled little brat in a Roald Dahl novel, I stand here stamping my feet and demanding, “Why God don’t you give me some more?”
Who was I to think that God ought to cause only roses to grow in my garden…and thornless roses at that?
No, the miracle here isn’t my son; the miracle is in me.
I love the story where Jesus is sleeping while the discliples are scrambling about terrified that at any moment their boat will sink in the storm. My little boat has been taking on quite a bit of water lately and I’ve wondered if my Lord and Savior was suffering from a severe case of narcolepsy. Or maybe He’d just disembarked and forgotten about me.
But He is here and awake and my internal storm is quiet and maybe, just maybe, someday I will actually learn to be anxious for not quite so much and to be content in just a few things. (baby steps. it starts with baby steps.)
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalm 107:29)