because He lives, I can face tomorrow · because He lives, all fear is gone · and I know He holds the future · and life is worth the living just because He lives.*
*a favorite childhood hymn.
I’ve been thinking about my self lately. How where I come from doesn’t feel like where I belong, and where I feel like I belong seems so far removed from where I come from…And how my dad’s side of the family has legit Cherokee heritage, and how my mom’s side of the family has some measure of scandal in recent generations.
I’ve been thinking about Joseph, son of Jacob the trickster who got bamboozled into marrying the wrong woman, and how on earth did they pull that off? And what depth of pain did Leah feel? And how into Jacob was Rachel anyway? And did she also feel betrayed? And they all had to just wake up and keep living as one significant and significantly dysfunctional family… All before Genesis is even near ended. It’s a lot to take in sometimes.
I have grown tired of rehearsing my struggle, and have come to realize that most people won’t really get it anyway. But in trying to figure out what I should do about it all, I find myself confused and conflicted. Stymied effort is exhausting, and God’s ways are higher than mine anyway. No matter how much I may toil in seeking, I cannot find out what He has done from beginning to end. I am simply incapable of comprehending.
At the risk of hyperbole, I have felt like Joseph in prison. I split a fourth floor studio in a far from ‘desirable’ neighborhood. Our rent, which was already ridiculously high, has just been raised by more than 10%. Like many other single women in metropolitan areas, I’m constantly harassed and catcalled. I have to take the train to safer places just to go on a prayer walk. My job has been chaotic since the day I started working there with no sign of true stability anytime soon. And I don’t feel released to leave. And my efforts thus far have seemed hindered. I see plenty of social media posts that say I should hustle harder and that God basically helps those who help themselves. But I read Genesis 41 and see that Joseph did nothing but wait on God and trust him to be delivered from prison because what else was he really going to do? Psalm 37 is assigned in my devotional and God says Bekkah, be still. Because what else am I really going to do?
I know that there are times when we are called to act and persist and fight through blankets of hardship, but I am also coming to see and believe that what we have to learn in life depends in part on disposition. As a Type A ISTJ former control freak, I have had to learn to sit on stressed out hands while God mends the intricate pieces of my cyclically broken life. This week, I have sensed the patient invitation to let go of what used to be painful and what I haven’t thus far understood. Peace is not the same as passivity [though to outsiders the difference may be hardly discernible], but it really is as simple as Come to Me and I will give you rest. Jesus, Himself, is our rest. It really is as difficult as tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.
He holds the future. Life is worth the living just because He lives.