Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross, despising the shame,
endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
This past Christmas season, I met a friend for coffee at Starbucks. She is a young nurse from my church and I was her Senior project (my medical condition is rare enough to make an interesting project).
She's a lovely young woman and we both agreed it had been too long since we'd seen each other. We chatted about what was going on in each of our lives. I was thinking of her again recently because of her comment that I always appear so calm.
I had recently watched a Joni Erickson Tada video (a gift from a lovely friend) where she talked about suffering bringing about faith and trust and... calm. When I told that to my young friend, she thought for a moment and said it was also true of her husband who is a cancer survivor. He rarely lets anything bother him.
I don't know, perhaps sometimes the calm is a "deer in the headlights" reaction to life and those of us who have suffered are more than a little shell shocked? But I don't think that it is it... I think we have had a lot of the bad stuff of life thrown at us and lived through it to see God miraculously at work to bring us out of the deep pit.
Not always with perfect restoration nor a lack of scars. Chemo therapy left her husband unable to have children so part of our Starbucks' chat was about their decision to begin adoption proceedings. (She married him knowing the affects of chemo.)
As for me... my world shrinks a bit more each year as the affects of chronic illness brings with it a world of lack (energy, finances, etc.). I wake up tired. There is so much I want to do but some days even the necessary lags behind. I take advantage of good days to get ahead on gotta do's and wanna do's.
None of us get through this journey without scars to show we've walked the path in a fallen world. As I am constantly reminding my husband, just became it seems as if someone never has a problem in the world does not mean they don't. (Sometimes he has a tendency to think no one has had it worse than him... a tendency of those with melancholic personalities like him and Eeyore.)
When we set our eyes upon others on the journey, we will see those who are better off and those of whom we could (if allowed) look down upon and speculate as to the cause of their unanswered prayers.
Neither is the way we are to live... we are to set our eyes on "the Author and Finisher of our faith". He knows just what to allow in each life.
That is how we stay calm in the storm... when the waves are crashing and the wind is blowing and we can hardly catch a breath because of the winds of adversity... He is calm. He's already seen it all and done it all and overcome it all.
Nothing we are going through has surprised Him. We keep our eyes on Him and we can walk on the raging waves toward the goal without going under.
There is a lot of speculation going on among Christian ministers and the secular press as to what 2012 will bring about. Most of them tend toward the doom and gloom side of the fence but there is a difference.
Those who are keeping their eyes of the Lord may have times of uncertainty and perhaps moments of panic but when we place our eyes back on Him and not the storm... we find that "peace that passes understanding".
I believe the Bible tells us God places us where He wants us... when He wants us... and with the people He wants us to travel through this life. He hasn't made a mistake even if I would love to live in Colonial Williamsburg.
Whatever this year may hold, or the next, or the next... we can rest assured He has it in His hands and we can remain calm. I know there will be tense moments (like when the roads are icy and a loved one is late getting home) but mostly I will be keeping my eyes on Him and seeing His peace to keep on the journey.
Picture: Girlfriends Lunching