We read the stories of the great men and women who have gone before us. For most, a chapter or two of God’s Holy Word is enough to sum up their struggle, their surrender, their faith, and God’s miraculous power.
We don’t actually have to walk around the walls of Jericho with the doubting children of Israel for six long, hot days, wondering what fool concocted this battle plan.
We don’t sit in Hannah’s grief year after year, as she prayed and yearned for a child. No, we are moved by her prayer and several verses later rejoice in the miracle of the child Samuel.
We don’t fast with Esther, as she took her life into her own hands and approached the king.
We don’t mourn with the prophets or wander through the hills with John the Baptist.
No, we read God’s promises at the top of the page and then see them in action at the bottom of the page. But, what happens when our own faith journey is suspended mid-air, mid-life, mid-breathe, mid-prayer…and we wonder which one of God’s promises will apply? How will our bottom pages read?
What then? What now? When life pauses to watch how God’s children daily make their bodies and souls living sacrifices to the One who already gave it all, will we disappoint those who come after us?
Or, will we like Abraham offer Isaac as an gift giving back? Will we like Moses extend God’s staff so a sea parts and dry ground emerges? Will we like David hold onto a childhood anointing of greatness yet to come? Will we like Mary rejoice in a child conceived in mystery?
I am watching my grandfather pass from this life into the next one. He may have weeks or months left, but the end is close, is soon, is coming. I’ve known for a while. I’ve watched him relax in his dignity. I’ve beheld him pray for the last miracles that he desires to see in his family before his story is done. He leaves a testimony of compassion, of brilliance, of gentleness, and of goodness behind.
What will my testimony be? How will my bottom page read? Will I make art out of the ugly? Will my whole life be a written Gospel of the greatness of my Heavenly Father?
I pray so. This morning in my weakness I yearn for that story. I yearn to know the promises at the bottom of the page. My tossing and turning and early rising doesn’t change that these moments are suspended in time. Suspended in a breathe caught and a prayer ascending.
I wait on test results, and I wait on phone calls. I wait for God to pick up the paintbrush and change this scarred canvas into something beautiful. I wait.