When you’re on a diet, the leaner body is the light at the end of the tunnel. Exam week and summer is the light at the end of the tunnel for students and teachers. Having a newborn baby is the light at the end of the long pregnancy tunnel. In our circumstance with Charlie, I’ve heard about the tunnel over and over again. Some days when the nurse is driving me nuts I wonder what part of the tunnel we are really in. Are we at the beginning of the tunnel where the light of better days still gives illumination from behind us? On hard days it feels like we are in the middle of the tunnel where no before light or light to come is visible. I can say for sure we are not at the end of the tunnel.
A new book was given to me called “Treasuring Christ when Your Hands are Full” by Gloria Furman. She spoke on very much the same concept as I have in mind and used the phrase “permanent circumstance”. Lately, I have been more annoyed with the idea that we have no privacy and that we won’t have any for a least two more years. 730 days. 17,520 hours where if Cameron and I have an argument, we have to walk outside or whisper in another room. It starts to feel like we are in a dark pit rather than a dark tunnel. There’s hope if it’s a tunnel. Gloria Furman says, “God has used our family’s physical circumstances to point me to the one great permanent circumstance in my life — the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Two years of no privacy is just a circumstance. It’s also very likely to change and surprise us in good and bad ways within months. Our permanent circumstance is that God is unchanging.
I started reading a psalm a day (wait for it) about 4 years ago. I’m on Psalm 98 now so you can see how diligently I keep up with Bible reading programs or reading my Bible in general. So wherever you are, keep going and don’t wallow too much in guilt for not having a perfect reading record. Psalm 97 starts with the phrase, “The Lord reigns”. This is a permanent circumstance. It is followed by “let the earth rejoice”. Why can earth rejoice? Earth kind of sucks sometimes. The reason we can celebrate and be happy is because despite the circumstance: the Lord reigns. It is a comfort to know that when our circumstances feel to spiral out of control in reality they are not. It is never out of the control of God but is always out of our control. The psalm continues to express the glory of God as the “mountains melt like wax before the Lord”. The earth and all that is in it changes but God does not. The permanent circumstance is God’s control. Verse 11 says, “Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.” There IS light at the end of the tunnel; God is in control of this light.
This morning Cameron was out riding his bike with a friend and I was working on wrangling the 3 kids while the nurse handled Charlie. I was tired, uncaffeinated, and a little self centered. Therefore I was completely cranky. I began loathing the 2 year circumstance we are in with bitterness and hopelessness. It began to fester a bad attitude toward our nurse. How does the truth that God’s reign over life make today feel any better? The same woman who gave me this book also spent years of her life meeting with me and teaching me from the Bible. She gave me the phrase to ask, “In light of eternity, does this really matter?” I use this question as often as I can remember it. In light of eternity, will two years really be so long? In light of eternity, will it benefit me to be stubborn and unwilling to adapt my life to fit in a stranger? In light of eternity, what can I do to glorify God in my motherhood to all four kids? The answer is that eternity is really long and two years is really like a short sneeze. Eternity with God will be better if I have spent my life on earth being fluid and adapting and letting go of things like privacy. If I no longer have privacy, how can the constant display of my life be something that can bring glory and attention to Christ?
I spent the majority of today trying to type this out to no avail. The nurse kept interrupting. My frustrations continued to rise. Kids always needed something. Alarms from the medical equipment never cease to stop beeping. I feels like life gets stuck. Another friend calls it “the pause”. Our “pause” feels like a permanent circumstance. It’s not. And only Satan wins if he convinces us. So let us all take a deep breath, and answer this: In light of eternity, how should I really view my current “circumstance”?