greet them from a distance
I’m in a process of believing for a future that has no face yet.
You probably are, as well.
We are home shopping, and like all imagined futures, that home is illusive. Twice in less than two weeks we thought we had caught that slippery sucker, The House For Us. Each time, we’ve been disappointed.
Harrumph. Deep sigh. Groan. Exasperated fist slam.
Can you tell that I’ve gotten better at not swearing? No, I cry instead.
In fact this week I heard my husband describe me to his friend as a person who, instead of stopping at sad, goes straight to angry. I was embarrassed that he said that, but not because it wasn’t true. In fact, David was being polite.
When I’m severely disappointed, SAD is just how things start. The bitter ache in my throat says I will be crying soon, but before I give in, I am going to detour through some good healthy rage. Or perhaps, not-so-healthy.
House-hunting was exciting for about a minute. Being told that things have not worked out yet because God has something better for us is darling, but it goes down about like dry bread. Bless your hearts, Beloveds, and gold*stars for effort!
Do you know why it’s hard to accept that God has a great house for us that is somehow better than the one we just walked away from? Because I’ve been reading Hebrews 11, again.
From A Distance
Seriously. If the people of God described in Hebrews 11, “of whom this world was not worthy” did NOT, for all their waiting and sacrificing, get “a house” – and they are still waiting for it now because they want us to catch up and enjoy it with them – then, do you know what that means??
It means that there are no promises of pretty houses that I can hang my heart on, here. It means that it’s time to ratchet up our goals, and prepare to greet them from a distance.
You and I both know we are no longer talking real estate. Maybe for you it’s the baby or the adopted child you’re waiting to bring home. The love that evades you. The number on the scale that you deserve for all the carrots and protein shakes you’re downing. Perhaps, in place of the word house in Hebrews 11, you could insert dream. Now we’re talking.
Across this little rough patch, I have been reading from the She Reads Truth (CSB Translation) Bible, and, WOW, I love it. I generally don’t like “girly” Bibles, so before I peeked at the color coded sections and delightfully lettered key verses (one for every book), I was all-business. Ahem. I am no pushover for fancy fonts and such.
Here’s the skinny on the SRT Bible: it is special because its designed to help the reader to not just dive into God’s Word, but to understand the arc of the whole of scripture which points to the character and plan of God. It does this artfully through organizational aids.
And it’s also GORgeous, but more than that, in the design features, it echoes something beautiful about God very intentionally. It is brilliant that we CAN know God’s perfect plan for how He will be glorified through the narrative of the Bible, the CSB translators and the SRT team thought it would be cool to elevate that brilliance by showcasing it plainly. They went and created a better Bible, imagine that.
I am so glad they did.
I want to buy them all lattés, because I want things to make sense! More than I want most things, I want that. SENSE seems to be what I most often ask of my stories – generally while they are still in unfinished.
Sometimes I picture us, David and me, hands laced, on the edges of a sprawling orchard, looking through branches to a little structure that will be our home – because we will buy a house and move to it at some point soon. We have prepared, researched, saved, and done all the things. We are pointing our lives at it. We just don’t know how the trek is going to go next, exactly. If we’ll be needing galoshes or Yaktrax.
Greeting our homeland at a distance is a beautiful graphic for faith. Most times, God’s big picture plan feels way out of view. He pleasures us with touchable hopes to show us how to wait well and love deep. He wipes our wet cheeks, chapped from sadness, and dusts us with toothy grins and twinkle lit weddings – cinnamony Christmases and scratchy cat kisses. They help us last longer.
Then they help us wave harder, with both arms and tiptoed feet, until we can greet the oncoming joy without faithless shock on our faces. That’s the stretch goal, anyway – to be so sure of Him that the greeting game can start already.
Hebrews 11:16, CSB Translation
But they now desire a better place — a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.