Friday, April 11, 2014

Oso and Abraham

Whether you live around here or not, you've probably seen the Oso #530slide in the news. What I've learned since March 22, is that when a catastrophic disaster happens near you, to people and places you know, it's different. The heartache is deep. The pain is sharp. And it really, really, makes one think. At least it has for me.

Honestly, I'm not sure why I feel so deeply over this. No one I knew or loved was lost, or survived and lost everything. But I have been truly heartbroken in the last almost three weeks. I have wept as if I was the one who lost my family. I have prayed as if it was my family missing. I have begged God for miracles as if it were my children buried in the mud. And I am angry at God as if it was me He said no to. I feel like an angry toddler sulking in the corner right now. 

I have wrestled with God. And the outcome is not what I expected.

One family all went to a baseball game together. They lost everything except, miraculously, their dog who was at home and survived. Another family is completely gone. Mom. Dad. 2 little boys. Another mom was at work and lost her husband and three of her four children. The one that survived only had a few scrapes and bruises. Somehow another mother was able to hold onto her 5 month old and they both survived. There are multiple couples where one survived and the other didn't and they were sitting in the same room. Love stories ended in 60 seconds.  

How can you hear these stories and not wonder?

Some of the things I've considered in the last couple weeks are just plain ridiculous. Like never wanting to be separated from my family. As in, not even long enough to grocery shop alone. Like using our credit card to become completely 'prepped' (like crazy style). 

And I think a legitimate response to so much loss is fear. Fear about what you would do if faced with such loss. Fear about what really matters. 

And yet. And yet. 

FEAR NOT, says God. My perfect love casts out fear. You can not grasp how wide and long and high and deep My love for you is. 

And I wonder if God isn't calling us to be Abraham. To lay the things, the ones, we love on the altar. To trust Him- and this is big- even if he doesn't provide a ram this time. Oh how my heart aches laying my sweet babies at Christ's feet, even knowing that His love for them is unfathomably greater than my unfathomable love for them. My heart breaks just figuratively laying them down, letting go, and backing off. I am afraid that there will be no ram for me. That God will require of me that which I can not imagine. But they are not mine. They have never been mine. They are His. They have always been His. 

And I am not to live in fear of what might be. I am to live in trust of what IS. 

And here's the unexpected result of my wrestling, the almost offensive truth. That if what I believe is true, then those who are 'lost' are better off at home with Christ then here on earth with the ones who love and miss them. Even those sweet babies. And although grief and mourning are legitimate- underneath it all should be joy and rejoicing. 

I do not know how to reconcile these opposing emotions. I do not know how anyone could. But if you follow the words we say, about the faith we claim, about the Bible we read, about the God we profess to their logical conclusion- then despair and fear have no place in our hearts. In fact, if we truly believe what we say we do- then death is not something to be feared. It is something to look forward to, meeting our bridegroom face to face. 

I have no idea how I would get through the loss these families are dealing with. I'm a complete wreck just imagining it but after almost three weeks of constant prayer what I do know is that I am to live my life, I am to raise my boys, as if they are on an altar. Every day, every night, sometimes moment by moment- I need to relinquish the illusion of ownership. 

And I've been considering what this means for me in my day to day life. I don't feel like it means we shouldn't be wise and prepare for emergencies/natural disasters (like 3 days, 3 ways) but I do feel like 'prepping' isn't for me. The idea of being able to survive 'the end of the world' because I had a big enough stockpile is not what I'm called to as a Christian. As a Christian, my hope should be to go home- not survive here longer. I'm also not sure what it means for me and our budget. I, along with many I know, admire and (are trying) to follow Dave Ramsey's advice but sometimes I think we can get sidetracked by our focus on preparing for the long term (financially) that we forget to ask God about the now. 

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts, your heart. What has Oso, or some other unexpected event, done in your heart to your faith?

If you find what I've written offensive in someway, please be kind. These are simply the musings of a hurting heart. I really would love to hear your thoughts. 



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