I have lived in my home for three years. Three life-upending-never-a-dull-moment-need-for-continuous-buoyant-hope years.
But I’m still standing. Literally.
And that wasn’t always true.
I’ve been through foot surgery, six months off of work, three months of one-legged living, and a year of rehab. I’ve been hospitalized, in terrible pain, and had an organ surgically removed. I’ve wondered where my next mortgage payment would come from, made endless budget spreadsheets, and have met my annual max out of pocket cost more often than not. I’ve had hopeless times and needed to be held up by those who love me. I have anticipated the worst physically, emotionally, financially, psychologically, and spiritually. But two little words held me back from spiraling…
I have heard many sermons on these two little words so common in scripture. Some pastors approach such a topic reverently, imploringly saying, “Life may seem at its worst, its lowest, its most desperate and we begin to slip, but God is still faithful. But God holds us fast. But God has a plan.” Others approach the doctrine more playfully saying something like, “You may feel hopeless until God sticks his “but” in your life.” (Or maybe that’s just the youth group translation!)
The words may vary, but the sentiment is true. I have lived a But God Story the past three years. I shouldn’t have been able to pay my mortgage or hospital bills with no income, But God, provided. I shouldn’t have been able to recover and walk without pain, But God is the great healer. I shouldn’t feel the buoyant hope in my soul after the soul-crushing wave after wave after wave of trouble, But God is the author of hope.
One of my favorite authors, Mark Buchanan, calls the Bible the book of remembering and forgetting. The people of God remember his promises and provision and respond in worship; then they forget his faithfulness and grumble. Grumble, remember, praise. Wash, rinse, repeat throughout history. This is my story too.
This week at the three year anniversary of my home purchase, I took some time to quiet my ongoing grumbling at continual challenges in life, and remind my soul that my circumstances may look dark and exposed, But God is sheltering light. So, while life is not easy, and doesn’t look like it will get easier in the foreseeable future, I slog on… in hope.