While We Wait

Still waiting.  If there was a soundtrack for my life it would be that terrible music you hear when a government agency puts you on a 'brief hold'. 

We are still on a brief hold...just waiting for the worst news of my life.  Okay, that might be an exaggeration.  Maybe it will be fine and I'm just over reacting.  But fine never took two weeks or more of deliberation.

At any rate, let me ramble whilst we wait...

On Sunday, I was talking to a church leader in my Sunday School class.  He is always genuine in our brief exchanges of conversation and his words are inspirational.  He and his wife are no strangers to difficult trials.  He asked if he could send me something he wrote when his father was gravely ill.  Of course, I was looking forward to receiving it.

I have read it over and over, literally over 15 times. When I read it, it feels like it poured from his thoughts a stream of consciousness, effortless poetic words about God, "...our great and relentless Pedagogue".  I don't have permission to post it, but here are a few of the lines that stilled my heart. 

 "Thou Giver of life and of death,
 Thou Giver of joy and of grief,
 Our Father God, thou great relentless Pedagogue,
 Help us to learn our lessons,
 Help us ever to choose Thee."

I love the perspective that God is a giver of life and a giver of death.  He gives us joy and he gives us grief.  He doesn't carelessly thrust these difficult things upon us, he gives them to us...an offering; a gift. 

In another part of the poem, I loved this string of words...

"Lord God of the still, small voice,
Lord God of the scream in the night,"

And this passage...

"Our great God of light and of peace,
Our great God of our unanswered pleas for relief,"

It was such a beautiful poem and there was so much for me to learn from it.   I haven't been that familiar with the term 'Pedagogue' so I looked up the origins of the word.  It means an especially strict teacher.   Interestingly enough, in Greek terms, Paidagogos, denotes a slave who accompanies a child to school. 

Clearly, we are children of a God who relentlessly teaches us the great and terrible lessons of life, for which, at certain times along the path, we feel their holy purposes, with gratitude even.  At other times, all we can feel are the terrible parts of the great plan.  I can see, after reading his poem, that both responses, the holy grateful and terrible despair are inherent and necessary in the Great plan we often call, happiness.

Maybe the weeping and the wailing, distress and grief, are just as meaningful in our wrestle to gain the title of true discipleship.  Maybe they are feelings even more important than a quiet resolve, we are misled to believe is the only acceptable way to embark and travel through a trial, regardless of  its advancing difficulties. Yet, we feel so much shame in admitting we feel these negative, overpowering feelings more than we should.  Could it be that these feelings are exactly part of the experience God intended for us to have?

Our trials are meant to be seen as gifts, given with the same love, that accompanies blessings. There are great lessons to be learned in trials, and holy moments to rest inside of.  I admit, like the root of the word pedagogue, I often feel enslaved to the trials, being dragged into the lessons, the constant testing and trying, the fatigue, the despair, the angst.  Perspective and remembrance of a loving God, giving the trials as an offering, is lost on me as I slave away in the suffering; and learning, purpose and meaning, vanishes.  We can either be a slave or a student.

While we wait...we learn and we weep and wail and wonder at the slow pace of this trial.



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