Guilty as charged. I confess. Last weekend Pastor Randy’s sermon, telling us to quit. I Quit. Quit complaining.
All this long winter, and it’s time for me to admit, it’s over. That season. And I’m not just talking about snow in Minnesota. No. Spring came a while back, a year or so ago, and if I’m optimistic I might even say we’re turning toward summer. Why not?
Easter weekend made us all a bit angsty, and looking at it now, of course I know it’s no wonder. When else would that battle rage, earthquakes rumbling and graves emptying and all manner of people down on their knees? And so Kyle and I drove to our Good Friday service moaning and griping about boys mocking and defying parents. And it’s Good Friday, for pete’s sake, and how is it I missed the most obvious thing? The thing about this being a day for a battle.
Easter Sunday we stood in a row, raising hands together. My boy raising his, too; later someone pointing it out. But by that time we’d listened to enough of his sass on the short drive to Grammy’s for Easter lunch, we no longer believed it. Not sure we believed in the raised hands and soft heart. Forgetting this. A stone rolled away doesn’t move back quiet, and there’s bound to be rumbling. We just forget sometimes.
Forget like those Israelites in their desert, that place of testing. Testing to see if they really meant it when they said We trust Him. And we’ve said it, too. Time and again. We trust You, we do. Until things start to rumble. Or the snow keeps on falling.
The seminary teacher at the District Conference said as much, too. Tuesday morning, teaching from 1 Peter.* (Being from Australia, he said it like that. One Peter.) Talking about our new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and I have to admit, I feel a bit like new life since saying “I Quit.” Those first century believers, Chosen Exiles, for a little while suffering grief in all kinds of trials. Coming out of the fire looking like gold. I wrote Dr. Campbell’s quote in my notes. “It’s God’s vindication when His chosen trust Him.” His Glory and ours, too, when we hold on to our hope.
Yesterday, the conference over, and my friend, Cindy is back from her Sabbatical, sharing with the MOMs about her Liturgy of the Ordinary** – and it’s in that, too. Finding God in our grumbling moments. Taking thoughts captive to worship when we’d opt for complaining. Providing food for ungrateful children, and I’m the one receiving the manna, and will I be complaining when He’s done as He said?
Last night, all evening long, all I can see are my liturgy moments. God in the laundry, and God in the cleaning. Feeding boys, and a season changing, all manner of praise. I go to bed, happy. Gladness. The word Dr. Campbell uses for Joy. And I REST. All night. Good-night to my husband, and nothing until morning, and when was the last time I slept through like that? Now, here, reading His Word, and it’s alive with His Presence like it used to be in that season I’ve longed for, and dare I hope even for THIS?
I could make a list until tomorrow of all the reasons the sun is shining, and winter behind us. A list about boys who are thriving and growing and today I Believe. I believe in hands raised and hearts opening like graves toward a resurrection. I was blind with complaining, but now I can see, and I quit.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9
*1 Peter 1:3 & 6 **Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren