Last week I ran over our cat. I had just returned home from taking the kids to school. She and the cat next door like to play “chicken” with the suburban as I turn into the garage, and, well, this time her seventeen year old (in human years) body caught up with her, not quick enough to dart out of the way.
My first instinct? Panic. I ran from the scene, rushing inside (without looking–yeah, call me the “chicken”) to call my husband who was out of town and could be no help whatsoever. He told me what I didn’t want to hear yet knew to be true: I would have to be the grown up and deal with it.
So I did. I felt like I was in one of those commercials: Looking to get away? Oh yes, I was indeed.
I called the vet. Somehow I got her in the suburban, listening to her cries as I cried myself the whole way to the vet’s office. From there, well, surely you can guess the rest.
Escape is my knee jerk reaction to any stressful situation. Just this week I sent my husband a text where I asked if he wanted to move far, far away with me. I am weary of this stage, this season. It is stressful and sometimes it hurts. I want to run.
[Note to my real life friends: we’re not. Moving, that is.]
A hurtful comment (or two), intended to be so or not, a trust issue with one of our sons, killing my cat–these “light and momentary troubles” (among others) have piled up on me to the point that I begin to wonder if I am indeed afflicted and crushed, perplexed and driven to despair, struck down and destroyed. (2 Cor. 4:7-11)
I know I’m not. I know the trials that I find myself under are not really trials. Really they are nothing–silly, actually–compared to the very real trials of many of my sisters and brothers in Christ around the world.
But can I just say sometimes I dread waking up the morning because I wonder what this day will bring? And that sometimes I want to escape? To hide? To go back to bed and wake up next year? That sometimes I want desperately to run far, far away?
Yesterday, as I was mulling over my various heartaches and my various escape options (which are few), my iPod began to play “I Will Hold My Head High” by Third Day from their Wire cd. As I sang along (and alone, you can rest assured I was completely alone), I pondered holding my head high when the night is closing in and turning whatever is thrown at me into a song of praise…
I was reminded of Paul’s words in Eph. 6:13 where he exhorts his readers that after they have done all, to stand and to stand firm. We wish it were not so, but life is difficult. We are engaged a battle. We will find ourselves afflicted and perplexed. The light and momentary troubles will feel anything but. We will want to run and hide. But the Lord commands us to stand and to stand firm, to hold our heads high, hands lifted high in praise and surrender, confident that all that comes to us comes by His sovereign hand.
I don’t want to run, not really. I want to stand despite my weakness, for His power is best displayed in the weak and not the strong. As difficult as it may seem to be, I want this season to result in “praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 1:7)
The One who has called me is faithful. He will do it. (1 Thess. 5:24)
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (2 Cor. 4:7-11)