There are pivotal moments in life, moments and choices that define us.
For most of us, these drumbeats in our march from birth to the afterlife are common. Birth. Baptism. School. Confirmation. Graduation. Career. Marriage. The birth of our children. The drumbeats of our life. The death of parents. The passing of friends, then spouses. We pass and become like last seasons flowers to this world.
Some of us have bitter drumbeats, no less defining for their syncopation to the expected rhythms of this life. Abuse. Betrayal. Failure. Less poignant but still the road less taken, we have more. Vows. Dedications. Military service.
These points echo. When we touch upon the points of great joy, the continuing effects that they have in our lives, those drumbeats roll once more through our hearts. What father does not remember their child’s birth on the day of their daughter’s graduation or wedding? What lover does not feel the loss of their beloved on their birthday, or a wedding anniversary? So on it goes.
This Sunday, visiting friends, I came face to face once again with the greatest commitment and greatest loss of my life on earth. Barring my confirmation, when I decided that I would be God’s may he help and guide me (for I often fail), this was the drumbeat that defines my life on earth, and will until God takes me home to heaven.
I literally gave up all that I had in this world for the sake of this cause.
I failed. The sacrifice has been in vain, and I cannot get it back.
This drumbeat has rolled through my life all week. Nightmares, tension, loss of sleep, and most recently a violent illness, no doubt helped along by stress.
But God is Lord.
First of all, he commands us to cast our cares upon Him, because he cares for us. That is not just an invitation but a commandment to share the burdens of our heart with the God who made us, who has witnessed and understands not just our actions but thoughts and feelings throughout all of our lives, and who loves us unconditionally without excusing our wrongs, but paying the price for them in his own innocent suffering son, Jesus Christ, who didn’t just die in our place but rose again so that we would have everlasting life with him.
Secondly, God’s power is made perfect in weakness. Perfectly shattered this week, I had a chance to bear witness to God’s ability to get me through the most painful portion of my life not once but to five separate people this week. God is so much greater than our losses and pains, that he can carry us no matter what they are.