After six weeks of enjoying our time at home with family and friends (in particular our time with our new grandson) Lisa and I are ready for our next assignment to travel. Lisa has been “put in” for jobs in Monterey California, Lawrence Mass. and Hawaii. Now we wait. This is the stressful part of traveling – not knowing where or when our next assignment will be. Our preference would be to stay in the eastern half of the country – but we have to go where the jobs take us.
It is times like this I am reminded again of theologian John Piper’s sound advise about living in God’s grace. He urges us to live our lives between the verses in the famous hymn, “Amazing Grace”. In the third verse there is the phrase, “Through many dangers, toils and snares, we have already come. Tis grace has brought us safe thus far and grace will lead us home.” Piper suggested that our lives should be lived out in the middle of those two statements – meaning we know God has brought us safely this far in our lives and can rest knowing he will finish the job.
I have written before of my theory that we tend to look back on the past as the “good old days” primarily because we know what happened. Our ability to see today or tomorrow as good “new days” is difficult since we have no idea what will take place. Today and tomorrow are unclear and uncertain – so they are often met with worry and even trepidation. We love yesterday because we survived it – we fear tomorrow because we may not. Piper was aware of that mental mind-set and encourages us to look forward to tomorrow based on our experiences of the past. The past was not always “good old days” – in fact many of our days past were horrible and nearly devastating. But we survived somehow. God brought us through those difficulties safely and now we can look forward knowing His grace continues and will sustain us.
In the past couple of weeks I learned of a former co-worker losing her husband in a tragic automobile accident. Like so many – I hurt deeply for her and her surviving daughter. They now will try to pick up where things left off and continue with their lives. I hope they have found a thousand shoulders to lean on, a thousand souls to grieve with, and a thousand arms to carry their lives forward. But more than that I hope they will soon see that they can and will survive this terrible tragedy and in so doing – never fear again. God’s grace will see them through this great loss and his grace will lead them home.
So Lisa and I are resting between those two lines as we wait for our next destination. We do so with joy and anticipation of good things to come. But we also know things may not be easy. We look back on our time in Hanover, Pa. and remember good times – even miss the place. But we also remember we were without a place to sleep that first night and the anxiety of our first travel job away from home was scary and uncertain. Yet God came through for us and we survived. And we know we will survive tomorrow and the next day and the next.
So, here is to looking forward to tomorrow – because we believe grace will lead us home.
Love, Steve and Lisa