Seconds ago, I was tearing down one of two Christmas trees we had in our home this Christmas season when a very clear analogy stopped me. I knew I had to STOP. I had to write about it. So, here is my humble attempt to communicate what I believe God was showing me, just moments ago.
I don’t think I’ve EVER been the one to string the lights ON our family Christmas trees. Nope. In 21 years of marriage, it’s always been my husband. He delights in it. He loves to tally up how many light strands he’s used so that when he steps back and sees the glory of the bedazzled tree, he can say with confidence, “There’s 1000 lights on that tree!”
How I appreciate his vision for making our tree as sparkly and beautiful as possible! I’m a little less appreciative when later, I am the one taking down the lights. There’s no seeming sense to it! The lights are not merely wrapped around the tree, one row at a time. No. They are rippled up and down, crisscrossed over other strands, and generally, HARD to take off. I wrack my brain trying to figure out what his mad method was. Eventually, I successfully de-light the tree, but I find myself thinking, “There must be a better, more organized way!”
ENTER: God talking to me. I sensed His Spirit speaking this,“Isn’t this often how you look at life, Kristin? You want order. You want same-ness. You want predictability. But my ways are higher. My thoughts are higher. Your life would not be the beautiful dazzling masterpiece I am making of it without all the up-and-down, criss-crossed, seemingly nonsensical things I’ve taken you through. What seems like DISorder to you, IS my order. Trust in me.”
I stop. I am aware that a holy moment is happening. I ponder what I believe God is speaking to my heart, through His Spirit.
You see, friends, I long for order and stability in life. To know where the next step is. To know I’m going to be OK. To know my children will follow God. To know my husband and I will live to a ripe old age, surrounded by a dozen healthy grandchildren and daughters who’ve married wonderful Christian men. But I have lived long enough to know that this may not be God’s plan. I’ve lived through enough difficulty to know that the Beautiful often comes through the Hard. Oh the glory of it, but oh, the pain of it, too.
God is at work in each of us, if we belong to Him. He is “stringing the lights” on us, so to speak. He may use “up and down, back and forth, criss-crossed” strands of light (life experiences) that when seen all together, will be a glorious sight. Do I trust Him to make mine a beautiful life, even when it seems so out of order? I hope so. I pray so. I want to, so…Lord, may it be so.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17