Saturday, March 08, 2008

Chance meeting

I bumped into a friend the other day when I was out shopping (literally our carts almost hit each other) and it was so good to see her. The last time we saw each other was last fall. We stood right there in the middle of the women's clothing section and hugged each other long and hard. It was one of those hugs that says I really love and care for you my friend, my sister, and because of that unspoken communication, there is no pretense with the spoken. We could be real with each other as we shared about our families, the blessings and the hardships, and we did, for about 20 minutes, right in the middle of the women's clothing section. This "chance" meeting really made my day.

I'm learning that much or most of life is struggle, and that the struggle is the ongoing sanctification process. It's the necessary part of becoming "like Christ", the constant dying to self so the Lord can use me for the kingdoms sake. But I hate it. I hate it because the struggle always forces me to release my comfort and control idols and I don't want to let go without a fight. In this place where I feel comfort and control being ripped from my hands I've been praying that the Lord would open my eyes to see Him and his hand of blessing, because I know He is the One who will save me and comfort like no other. My problem is that I don't see the way He is blessing me because I just don't take the time to look for Him nor do I truly believe how intimately involved He is in my everyday life, that the things I care about or worry about He cares about too. There seems to be this huge disconnect between what I know in my head and what I believe in my heart and I don't know why.

Which bring me back to seeing my friend while shopping. Seeing her, hugging her and being hugged by her, sharing our stories of blessing and struggle was a huge blessing to me. Even as we embraced again before going our separate ways I knew we had been in the presence of the Lord. God was there. My friend was Jesus in the flesh to me and I needed to feel His nearness during a time when life seems totally out of control and my comfort level is most definitely being challenged. The amazing thing is that He opened my eyes to see the way He was choosing to bless me and I had hope. It wasn't just a "chance" meeting of two friends in a discount department store, but it was a planned blessing from the Lord. It was the Lord saying to me, "I know, I'm here, don't be afraid."

It's so very comforting that the Lord so aware of our fragile state and our need for him. What's even more comforting is that He wants us to know how much He loves us and wants us to know He's always there.