How?

I read a compelling question today in Clayton King’s book, Dying to Live. “The question is not ‘will you wait?’ because wait you must. The question is ‘How will you wait?'” I have often felt this way…as if my life and the circumstances I am facing force me into holding patterns that are completely out of my control. I have to wait. I have no choice. I have no recourse. And waiting is certainly not something I would choose for myself. So it is true that “wait I must”. Now I must consider the question, “How? How will I wait?”

This morning I was thinking again of my kids and the sacrifice they have been forced to make. Like the widow who gave her last two mites, they have given what is of greatest value to them. But they have not done so willingly. This sacrifice has been enacted upon them by outside forces, by other choices, and the ensuing consequences.  They have no choice. They have no recourse. The question then is not, “Will they sacrifice?” It is “How will they live with the sacrifice they are forced to make?”

Both of these questions really find their answer in our core belief system, in the world view we hold. The boys and I don’t enjoy the wait. And we don’t find living with this sacrifice to be an easy thing. We don’t pretend that everything is fine and that our hearts aren’t breaking. Because to do so would be to deny the sacrifice entirely. The beauty that comes from loss is only beautiful because of the loss.

Our “how” is a moment by moment belief in the sovereign control of a good and loving God. That doesn’t change the intense feelings we experience. But it does change how we deal with those feelings. Instead of allowing the feelings of hopelessness and fear to rule, we pray. The other day Marshall prayed, “God help us to see Dad soon, but even if we can’t, help us to believe you and accept it.” His simple prayer of trust and faith in God is evidence of God’s work in our situation. He may not be fixing our problem in the way we expect. But He is giving us the grace and power for the “how” of this difficult time.


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