I've written before about monotony and about invisibility. I've talked about the beauty of mundane life. (Mundane life takes on an extraordinary beauty when trials have hit us unexpectedly.) But today I want to share something I've been thinking about for a few days now. The Bible says our lives are hidden in Christ ( "For you died, and your life is now hidden in Christ with God." Colossians 3:3) That's a lovely thought, but it also makes me think of many of us whose outward lives may not look like a lot to the world - in fact, you could say that we are almost hidden away. But in that hiddenness is a beautiful look into God's heart.
Much of my day to day life is spent caring for our daughter who has cerebral palsy. It isn't what I would have chosen my life to look like. It certainly isn't what I wanted for her. I also don't think that God has "assigned" our daughter this terrible disability, though at times, I've wondered. There's been thoughts like, "Is this disability supposed to develop our character? Make us stronger?" No, I don't think so. What I do know is that I took His hand, sometimes hesitantly, and began walking with Him through this unexpected time of life. I've talked, cried, and poured out my heart to Him. I've questioned Him, raged at Him, and fell asleep while crying and talking with Him about her condition and future.
There seems no end to the work involved in caring for our daughter.That is just a statement of our lives. I don't always have a good attitude about it. Sometimes I long for a day of no real commitment. I can't even imagine what that would be like. There is a lot of repetition of her daily care and a lot of anguish in my heart on some days. There have been many times where I've left her room after putting her to bed or giving her lunch, only to stop and cry as I'm going back upstairs. The "whys?" in my heart have had no answers. The "whys" are not just for myself, but for my daughter also. It is a terrible thing when the dreams you've had have died. But even those crushed, broken dreams and heart have to be offered to Him.
There are so many dreams I have for her. I want her to have the chance to not only pursue her own dreams, but to do the little things we take for granted. I want to see her be able to take a shower any time she feels like it, to get up in the middle of the night to get a drink, to be able to curl her hair and put on her make up, to do her nails, to wear high heels and a pretty dress, to run down the road just for fun, to drive with the top down in a convertible, to go through a drive through to order a Coke, to create a sandwich just the way she likes it, to hold her little brother's hand as they take a walk together, to get up in the middle of the night and watch a movie, to go to Target and buy whatever shampoo she'd like to try, to go and get her hair cut, to have a pedicure, to walk around the mall and window shop, to go to the movies with a friend, or to sit in her sister's room and just talk.
Will these dreams for her ever be? I don't know. I hope so. My faith feels tired, but it is still there. I know that Jesus is my friend and that He knows and sees and understands. I don't understand the "whys", but I know I can trust Him with everything that is dear to my heart.
I see Jesus differently than I used to. If you had asked me about Him before, I could have given you a nice, heartfelt "Christian" answer. But He would have sounded like a very sanitized historical figure. I think my knowledge of Him and relationship with Him was limited at best. There is something about walking through a crushing time with Him that forces you to get to know Him in a way you might not have been able to before. It is kind of like, "Oh, I can see You now!" Where as before, it seemed like I was squinting to get a good look.
God has been speaking to me about the hiddenness of my life (and your life if you are reading this and feel this is speaking to you) and living for the applause of Heaven. When life here has ended, all that will really matter is what we have offered up to Him and the obedience we have walked in (sometimes with our extremely limited vision.) I think we will be surprised when we arrive in Heaven one day. I never think of myself as anyone special, and maybe you feel your life isn't anything special, but I think on that day, our eyes will be opened to what our lives have looked like to Him on that side of eternity.
Everything I've ever offered up to Him, for Him, has not been forgotten by Him. (Even the things I've forgotten about.) He remembers what you have given Him. He sees every tear you've cried when you've been by yourself whether it was tears of exhaustion, sorrow, rejection, or not understanding why all these things in your life are happening. You've made the choice to walk with Him even through the pain of not understanding. You have made the choice to love Him despite what is taking place around you. He will not forget your choice, your heart, or your life.
Your life is hidden with Christ in God. There may not be applause or recognition right now. That is okay. "...your alms (giving) may be in secret and your Father which sees in secret himself shall reward you openly." Matt. 6:4
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