How to Persevere
This thing called peace. How we search for it somewhere out there in the deep blue horizon, on the helm of sailboat, in the bottom of a glass, in the perfect dress, or in the next adventure.
Peace is in a moment where we can feel God’s love speaking to us in silence, in nature, in a moment of need.
In His affirmation of who we are.
When I get really tired, when I wear myself out with all this world-traveling, and speaking up for the oppressed, and meeting of other people’s needs, and when I feel guilty that I can’t do it all—answer every email, be kind to every person, be there for my family, be there in Africa, save the world…..I go back to what I know.
That God is here, now, with me. I just have to be still enough to feel Him. Breathe Him in and let the shattering truth in—that He loves me. Regardless of what I’m able or unable to do.
I go back to this holy solitude.
I used to think that Heaven was a place where we we went to get lots of stuff. Lots of crowns and jewels, and for all intensive purposes, got “bedazzled.” Where we got all the cool stuff we didn’t get to have on earth. I thought that was the reward. To be honest, I never really contemplated heaven too much because I was so busy with all this earth stuff.
And it does consume me, more often than I would like to admit.
Those designer jeans. That person who pulled out in front of me in traffic. Delayed flights.
It was Tyson’s youth pastor that said something to us the other day. Something I’ve been contemplating for weeks now.
That the real reward in heaven, apart from God’s all-encompassing presence, is all the people, all the faces, those I have loved, and known and given my life away for, and those I do not yet know, whose life I impacted in some way.
Them, their children, their grandchildren, all of us in Heaven together laughing and being happy that we all get to share in the joy.
As he spoke, I imagined all of them, coming up to me, hugging me, and honoring the small acts of love I did every day. Those relationships, those moments, where I chose love, chose joy, chose hope, chose self-sacrifice, chose forgiveness, and chose to share of Jesus’ love to a stranger.
Even the acts I thought went unnoticed.
That the real reward is always based in relationship. Ours with Father, and ours with those we have loved.
We don’t get to take the “stuff’ with us, but we do get to take the people we loved into His Kingdom.
Now when I think of Jesus on the cross, I think of Him imagining Heaven and this big party where all of us are there with Him and all the ones He died for are honoring Him for His love and His sacrifice.
I like to think that is the “joy set before Him,” that He was thinking of.
He was thinking of my face.
And the big feast, with the wine flowing, and the people dancing, where we all get to share in His joy because we’ve been a part of making it happen.
It makes me cry to think about it. That is my joy. The joy set before me. To see more enter into freedom and into His Kingdom of love.
It really puts it all into perspective when I can lose sight of what we are really living for.
Peace is really knowing that we’ve done what Father asked us to do.
And that He’s really proud of us.
Now, when I get tired, I keep that picture before me.
All the faces I will meet someday, all my family, all the girls and women I love, and continually fight for—
All the generations together in one place, honoring one another for the love and the sacrifice.
And in the middle of it all, is Father, smiling.
*This post is dedicated to my fellow laid down lovers out there who fight on a daily basis so that more might enter into Father’s love. You know who you are. I love you and I honor you.