Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Knocked, Crushed, Joy

The emotional demands of the past 13 months have knocked me senseless in many ways and my ability to triage has been minimal (my dh says in response, "just do everything I say and it will all turn out great!" Gotta love a man with self confidence). Partly because a lot of what I have to do isn't really stuff I want to do. School has been driven by externals this year. I appreciate that. If it hadn't been, it might not have gotten done at all. But with that, my personal investment, enthusiasm if you will, for what we are doing is minimal beyond just filling in the blanks. I console myself with this being a seasonal situation. It is after all mid-year, cold, dark very early and tedious.  House re-build work for the past several weeks has been focused on winterizing and realizing that some of the new things, some of which cost beaucoup bucks, haven't provided solutions in ways we'd hoped. I've burned out yet another expensive sander and my allergies are screaming "Desist" to the little sanding I've done. I'm waiting on Viking Man for much of the rest of the re-build work- he brings knowledge and upper body strength that I just don't have. The doldrums. Feels like I've been here before.  

"Trials of every sort come to us, but we are not discouraged. We are left without answer, but do not despair; persecuted but not abandoned, knocked down but not crushed. For we, the living, are given up continually to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may appear in our mortal existence." - 2nd Corinthians 4:8-9, 11

It's between the persecuted but not abandoned and crushed but not despairing that I run into problems. I get the crushed. and the despair (Sounds melodramatic, I know. I realize that there are people the world over in far more desperate circumstances on a daily basis than I've ever encountered in my whole life). I mean it in a "living lives of quiet desperation," middle aged, circumstances have struck hard and stunk kinda of way.  I also get the not abandoned, the not despairing. I'm a middle class, educated, white woman, privileged on so many levels and reaping the benefits of that.
It's the mundane that I struggle to find joy in. The Why Bothers.

How does one endure the persecution of life's events, the crushing of circumstances, with joy and purpose. I see God's hand in our lives on so many levels but I also have a whole lot of unanswered questions and feelings, and honestly, discouragement about situations that I've invested heavily in. The demands of the day continue despite how one feels and while the needs that need managed are getting done I'll confess that joy has not been abounding. 

And with all of that I realize that God is crushing the old in order to create something new. Like grapes, picked at the height of ripeness, crushed beyond recognition in order to create wine. Medicinal, celebratory, an all things new kind of chemical, spiritual alchemy. I am trusting that that's the plan. It's the getting from here to there. Living faith. Joy unspeakable. Living responsively, purposefully and joyfully to life and people despite the crushing. Trusting that the new will be better than we can even ask or imagine.


Deanna said...

The grape analogy is simply beautiful.

Hen Jen said...

lovely words, yes, the new will be so much better...

I went through a trying time, felt drained/wrung out and numb...and then I realized one day that my prayer months before had been a heart-felt hungry cry of "take the place of my heart, until I become a stranger to my life" -I realized He had answered that cry, and I was now mourning this strange place I found myself in. I was a bit unappreciative of the answered prayer...

hang in there, praying for you.

LaughingLioness said...

That is a powerful testimony and a unique prayer! Thank-you for taking the time to share it with me!
Prayers appreciated, always! Lisa

Tina said...