…continue. The calendar may have turned the page on a whole new year, yet it remains winter in our lives, much like Narnia caught in the white slumber of snow and ice. Surgery and chemo are behind me, yet my husband and I yearn for Spring and the promise of reconstruction and restoration. More than January 1 each year, Spring and Fall have often been in our lives the herald of God’s movement; new ‘chronicles,’ if you will.
In the scheme of things of the last half of 2010 – second diagnosis of breast cancer, the grief of double breast amputation, chemo, itchy body rashes, baldness, and the sadness of loss from irreversible change – it’s good to refresh oneself with the apostle Paul’s perspective:
“This light, temporary nature of our suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory, far beyond any comparison, because we do not look for things that can be seen but for things that cannot be seen. For things that can be seen are temporary, but things that cannot be seen are eternal.” II Corinthians 4:17-18 (ISV)
Though it is sometimes hard to reconcile this journey as ‘light suffering,’ it, too, will pass. My courage takes a big leap when I read ‘far beyond any comparison.’ It’s why the Lord keeps returning me to the understanding of how important it is to develop new vision – aka ‘eyes of faith.’
Being reminded how temporary the things that are seen, increases my desire to keep looking for ‘things that cannot be seen.’ The things of substance: concrete evidence of God’s power; things hoped for coming to pass; intimate indications that He knows the count of every hair, or not, on my head; and most of all, the things that are honest and pure and of faithful character – things of eternal, perpetual value and worth. That eternal weight (load, abundance, authority) is glory that is apparent and shows its dignity, honor, and praise. The glory gifts of having developed eyes of faith.
I hope, dear reader, that you will continue to journey with me as I attempt to follow in Christ’s footsteps and keep looking for heaven’s substance, for His treasure is meant to be shared. Though my journey is deeply personal – after all, these are elements of my life I’m sharing – it’s far more than just about me. It really is all about you, too.
Our paths may be different, or in some God-ordained cases very similar, but His Word is relevant, regardless the situation. There is a reason Wisdom prompted Solomon to write, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The opposite of life is death. Death to health, both spiritual and physical; death to dreams; death to relationships; death to conscience. Death may not occur overnight, but a slow demise ends in death nonetheless.
We would not have been instructed to guard our heart unless we bore the accountability and authority as its doorkeeper. It is that threshold of choice and free will that God himself will not cross. None of us live our ‘chronicles’ perfectly, least of all me. But a heart of flesh is much easier for the Lord to inscribe Himself upon than a heart of stone. (Ezekiel 11:19 & 36:26) Paul, once again, stated perfectly what resides in my heart as I write each post…
“You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” II Corinthians 3:2-3 (NAS)
I pray this New Year sees multitudes of God’s people coming more fully alive, allowing the linen strips of death’s garment to be unwrapped and removed far from us. There is chronicle upon chronicle to be read by those who are lost, dying, unhealed, without hope. I pray that you and I will be those ‘letters of Christ’ written with the Spirit of the living God, out of whose wellspring flows rivers of living water to a very thirsty world.
Happy 2011 with prayers for blessing, healing, hope, and life more fully lived!
Nancy ‘Chronicle’ Bentz