Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

At the Milwaukee airport, once you've made it through security you are greeted by a big sign that reads, "Recombobulation Area". There are benches so you can sit down and put your shoes back on, and put your self back together after spilling everything out into the gray bins. Every airport has one of these areas after security, but sweet Milwaukee airport is kind enough to give it signage. Something about that sign makes one feel like they acknowledge that they've just disorganized you and torn all of your belongings apart; it almost feels like an apology.

My father passed away almost a month ago now, after 69 days of intensive care in a hospital three hours away from my home. In the grand scheme of things, that wasn't such a long time to fight illness. Many have battled for years. But for me, those days were difficult because there was urgency each day, and it felt like 69 days of crisis. I was running back and forth between there and home. It's hard to sustain that life-or-death kind of intensity over two and a half months, while also trying to keep things as normal as possible at home. I learned first hand what it means to be able to do things through Christ, who gave me strength. And I learned what a failure I could be when I tried to manage things without His help. He provided for me and my family throughout those days.

And now I feel like I need a sign hanging over our home, and maybe a traveling one to hang over my head wherever I go... "Recombobulation Area!" I'm trying to put things back together, one day at a time. I am sad, I miss my Dad, and I don't understand everything perfectly. I know I need to just sit with that a while, and while I do, I'm slowly trying to put the pieces back together.

Still learning about doing things through Christ, rather than relying on my own flimsy tool box. But here's what I know. God has a plan. That sounds like a nice platitude, but it is so much more. He does have a plan, and He told us what it is; He wants to draw everyone to Him. He wants all to come to know Him. Here's how Paul said it in one of my favorite verses (in the Message translation here) "Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near." So He will use my Dad's death, and my coming apart and recombobulating to bring me and others closer to Him. Thank You, LORD, and help me to cooperate with Your plan.