"What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short.
From now on those who [mourn should live as if they did not]."
Paraphrase from 1 Corinthians 1:29-30
It's after noon and I realize that I'm still sitting here at the computer, in my PJ's, with fuzzy teeth. A nasty realization on this chilly January day. I've been lost in a huge picture project, and honestly, it's been too cold to even want to think about stripping and putting on fresh clothes, let alone showering. The PJ's are comfy. If I did yoga I'd call them yoga pants, and along with the big sweatshirt they pass for being dressed. Until the mailman comes with a special delivery, that is, sending us all scurrying and being glad that the teenage boy is into the whole fashion thing lately. Fuzzy teeth: a sad realization that I am a forty-some year old housewife.
The apathy seems to be a side effect of the hibernation that sets in this time of year. After the holidays have subsided (and I realize that I've survived them yet again) we settle in to quiet projects. There has been more home school finished around here in the past couple of weeks than since school started in September. Biology, American History and Economics are all crossed off the list. Whew! With an anticipated move once the weather warms up, we are all in the zone: the get school done zone.
We just endured a week where the mercury barely rose above zero for four days straight. Brrr. Makes me think South sounds good. Missions in India. A tropical beach house. Or, perhaps, gracing the doors of the gym would be enough to feel warm again. Then I remind myself that I haven't even made it out of my pajamas today. Lazy bum.
I pray that God would continue to do His work with Trent's story while I can't muster up the energy to do anything. Emotionally, I am maxed out. Getting off my duff is asking a lot. Spiritually, I am dry. I am reminded of Isaiah 55 and God's offer to the thirsty. I come, but am only able to take a sip. Sometimes, a sip is all that one can handle.
As I battled this morning for some kind of victory this side of eternity, the comparison of our waiting for our physical home move and our moving to Heaven donned on me. At this time of dullness I realized that God is still doing His work (Romans 11:33). I forget that how I classify His work is not His way of classifying His work. I want flashing, glorious, loud, clear, blasting. God often does quiet. And heart searching. And soul changing. And fuzzy teeth sitting at a computer kind of work. Somehow the waiting is significant, even if it only looks like lazy in my do-something-Martha eyes.
The apostle Paul reminded me, as one who is mourning, to live as if I wasn't. God could not have been more direct in answering my pleas for Scriptural hope to go on today. Live as if I am not mourning. Why? "Because the time is short." (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)
Several souls in our community have entered eternity recently. There was a horrible accident involving the deaths of three children that touched the lives of our small towns. A patriarchal, elderly gentleman has also faced God after a long battle of physical ailments. The vet's secretary has passed from this life. And on, and on, and on. I browse the list of the "lives lived" section of the newspaper and realize how much more significance there is in that simple reference. One week of worldly glory having your name on the front page, a well worded obituary in the back, and then their memories are long forgotten by the vast majority. But their souls go on.
Sitting in bed, innocently reading a book, the thought came to me for the umpteenth time that Trent is in Heaven. As we have been forced to get used to him being gone from our daily routine, he has been experiencing Heaven. Everyday waking up to the glory of God. I wonder what that looks like, to wake up in Heaven...
As I tucked my kids into their beds the other night I was suddenly overcome with the paralyzing fact that Trent has no one to tuck him in. People have naively encouraged us that it must be so wonderful to know that Jesus is taking care of him now. And, yes, granted he would be almost sixteen, but I'm his mother. I took care of him his whole life. I want to tuck him in and kiss him good night.
I force the verses to reign as my body sinks down the wall and the tears slide down my cheeks. This is never something a parent will get used to. You continue to live, you have no choice, but as a Christian, your life becomes about learning what it is to die for the sake of Christ. Really die for Him. To trust Him, and to be real with yourself, asking again and again if you really do trust Him.
I don't recall that God ever said living for Him would be easy. He rather said that it would be nearly impossible, but that these present trials would not even be worth comparing to the glory to come. He said that He would walk with you through the trial, giving the needed grace to endure to the end, not that He would take away the trial. The longing for a perfect eternity in His presence grows deeper with every twist of the pain.
It was not for this day and age that Jesus endured, but for the coming Day that He will reign. The Day when sin will be fully done away with and all things will be put under His feet, including death. Victory will not be obtained fully here, but instead, through suffering, a Christian is given a foretaste, an hors d'oeuvre of the feast to come. There is so much more. "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied," Paul said (1 Corinthians 15:19). I continue to force my brain to look beyond this day. To that day when the victory will be complete.
The time is short. I wait for God's energy to get me to the glorious part. I attempt to live in the now, doing the menial things that I feel I am called to right now rather than the "big" things I prefer to do. Sitting, staring at the blinking lights, sorting out the past and hoping for the future. I wait for the sun to shine again in our cold part of the country, knowing that with it will come the energy to do the work that is waiting.