Right in the midst of life.
How dare it?
Stretching the legs, I walked out to the property line to meet my neighbor, who was waiting there.
"Everything okay? What's wrong?" I ask.
"Have you seen the baby goat? It's been missing since this morning."
"No, we just got home from church." I pause. "Oh, no." My heart sank.
"There are huge claw marks on the fence-line. Panther, coyote ... something probably got it."
Stranger. I hope the girls and I will be safe out walking. It was only a baby, but it was a big, chunky baby.
Yeah, it was "just a goat" ... but it was a sweet one. And we enjoyed his presence on our walks. He always met us at the fence. My heart hurt. My girls' hearts hurt. We felt uneasy knowing something was out there ... that strong, that dangerous.
It's hard to see clearly through pain.
Crawling back under the warm covers, in the darkness, I thought about the pain. With no apparent choice, I grabbed my head. The simple compression, simple touch, seemed to relieve it through blurred vision. Tears pooled.
Pain ... makes you appreciate the times of ease. When every nerve is relaxed, when life feels good. When life doesn't throb.
But it also makes you realize how easily passing over to Jesus would be. Just to be pain-free. To grab the hand offering aid.
I lay there thinking about the Ebola scare. We are so near Dallas. We have several being watched in the county. Two schools are closed in our city because a nurse who aided the infected patient had kids that went to those schools. She informed the school, and now the school is taking precaution.
The evening prior while watching the news, I told my husband, "If I contracted that disease, I wouldn't last a week." Why, I barely survived the intestinal symptoms of appendicitis back in March. And three weeks after my surgery, I thought extreme intestinal distress from an apparent antibiotic reaction would surely kill me. I'd never been so weak. He agreed. He always tells me I need more meat on my bones.
My daughter smiled. "At least I know where I'll go when I die," she declared.
"You surely do." I returned the smile.
Change. Pain. We can't avoid it. But it's nothing new to God. Jesus is no stranger to pain.
God is in control. If life were easy here, what would we have to look forward to? Why would we long for a heavenly home? Why would we long for the arms of Jesus?
God knows the enemy who claws the ground ... looking for us ... desiring to devour us. Why, He allowed it. He is in control. God in us gives us the power to be joyful, to see differently—through blurred vision—to see in full color in the journey ... in the throbbing pain ... in the change ... in the midst.
Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! —Revelation 5:12