The clock begins today to move me towards the last month of my 5th decade. It seems a significant thing to think about as I count down the days to my birthday. The 5th decade has been filled with change. Although most of those changes have been eventful, the power of those changes have left me feeling overwhelmed and looking cautiously towards the future. A future that for now seems very vague and leaves me a little unnerved and pondering.
I began the 5th decade in full-time church ministry, I’ve seen the passing of a dear friend who I miss every day but with her passing it set me on a journey to discover my passion for photography and to start a new business of understanding the world through a camera lens, I started a job at a local university, to than experience the most significant loss of my life the death of my oldest child Evan. Within a few short months from Evan’s untimely death I watched as my dad succumb to lung cancer and after a few side roads have now started back into Faith-based non-profit work along with starting an online Birth and Bereavement Doula program. I sometimes think that my words can come across as melancholy, hopeless, aimless, and sad, probably for some, they sound depressed or repetitive. But that is the harsh reality…this is life. It may not be your life today, but it wasn’t mine either for most of my 5 decades. I sometimes wish that we talked about hard things. The things that hurt. The things that don’t make sense. Sometimes things seem abstract because the reality is this is life and when we observe it in the abstract the reality of that life can be overwhelming.
We seem to talk about Paul the disciple as the pillar of transformation and strength yet the reality for Paul was that he struggled and yet in that God did not remove the struggle. He gave Paul overwhelming Grace and more compensating strength as we see that Paul says that God’s power is made perfect in weakness. So, the reality is that in all the hard things God shows up. I’ve not lost Jesus, on the contrary, He is walking this path with me. He is the Hope that gets me through. I indeed desire for the thorn to be removed. The reality is that it seems to be hang around. For many, you will need to look away...it can be hard to watch. But my challenge for you is don’t look away…come closer. Look deeper. Jesus has overwhelming Grace and more strength for you as you come face to face with your thorn and possibly the thorns of others.