We arrive at the Denver airport with five bags carrying the essentials we think we’ll need for the next three months. Another move, another packing up and leaving and learning to adapt our rhythms to a new place.
It’s been over two years that we haven’t had a house or an apartment and yet we’ve never been without a home.
Two years of learning how to pack, unpack and do it again, taking the essentials and leaving the extras.
Two years of learning that home is less about walls and more about the people within those four walls.
Two years of counting gifts of gratitude and kneeling humbly to receive the abundance raining down.
Sure, that two years without work and moving too many times to count and living on welfare for a bit, yeah, it’s not glamorous. And if you’re not careful, you start thinking that it might all be tied to something you did wrong, like it’s some kind of problem with you and your flaws and your weak faith.
Sometimes it is. But oh, sometimes it isn’t.
Because what kind of God is it that seemingly leaves you high and dry and pulls the rug out from under you when you’re young and full of dreams and raising a new babe?
I’ll tell you what kind of God: A God that loves us fiercely enough to wound us.
Hear me loud and clear, not every valley you’re walking through is a God-inflicted wound. But every wound is an opportunity to know Him more – to know His love, His faithfulness, His grace and His goodness. And never once does He leave us, not even in the darkest nights. Not even when we’re crying out with tear-stained face wondering where this is all headed.
These two years, they’ve really been years of limping from the Love-inflicted wounds.
The tears start to well up at the goodness of it all and the Love. Oh the Love. For how can we call it anything less than a severe mercy when He cuts away what threatens to steal our love and become an idol.
That’s what I’ve come to see. That this losing of the apartment and going years without work and trekking our kids all over kingdom come, it’s all a gift.
It’s a gift that Abba showed us our trust was misplaced, inviting us to let go of everything so we could grasp Him completely. We didn’t even know that money and status and position was our source of dependence until we didn’t have it anymore.
It’s a gift that we could go for weeks and months pleading the Heavens for our daily bread and, like Israel wandering in the desert, watch it rain down every day.
And it’s a gift, oh a what a gift, to watch our average, safe and comfortable faith go up in flames as we learned to walk out onto deepest waters, to lean in hard and strain to keep our eyes on Jesus for risk of losing it all.
It’s a gift that is born from a gift.
He came as a little babe, bearing all the innocence and vulnerability of a newborn child. But He left that form with the scars on his hands and feet and side to prove His Love.
Wounds that will forever call out to each of us to join Him in the suffering that we might also taste of the greatest love.
Wounds born out of love that testify to a sacrifice none of us will ever have to make.
Wounds that give our own woundings purpose and hope.
If you look around, you’ll start to notice others who have been lovingly wounded. Because when you decide to follow after the Carpenter’s Son, you’re following a Lover wounded for His Beloved. And it only makes sense that followers are going to start looking like the One they follow.