All Along…

March 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Timeline - 1 “Even that wilderness, the very habitation of jackals, is the Lord’s. I need to bear this in mind.” Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

One of the last things I did before leaving our Mom’s home was to cut a timeline away from the kitchen wall. One of our daughters didn’t want it to be lost on new occupants. It had survived hurricanes, feasts, friendships, even death. Through 47 years in that home we would line up, back against the wall, and Mom would mark our progress. As grandchildren were born and grew the timeline became crowded with names and memories. It told a story that continues to unfold.

And while it would seem natural to begin to recount those stories, what struck me as I reflected on this is that God has been faithful – through years and crises, heartbreaks and growth spurts, through weddings, births, geographical moves and funerals. All of our names appear multiple times somewhere on that timeline because through the years we change. But God never has. He has remained faithful. Timeline - 2

I forget this – daily. And I think it is because I measure God’s faithfulness against my own unfaithfulness, expectations and inconsistencies. I cheat Him of something that defines His very character, that He is as true to us as He is to Himself. His faithfulness is great, His mercies are new every morning, and His compassions never fail (Lamentations 3).

Timeline - 3 The fact is that I could look at each of those names and recall something that was happening when the measurement was taken. Timelines do this for us. We can recall moments, good and bad. But they are snapshots, and it is the video that streams behind them that tells the real story – that in good and bad, in weak and strong, in comfortable and desperate, God was there all along, lovingly tending His children.

The truth is that in my darkest moments, I cling to the snapshots rather than the video stream, and I build story lines that never existed. Even worse, in doing so, I undercut the real narrative, that in Jesus we have a God who did more than protect our story from disaster. Instead, He redeemed it, and then invited us into His.

Friends, this is good news…


PS Please read this profound piece from our friend, Jennifer Pett, who has been published on – you will be glad you did – it is lovely:

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