Envision your life as a verdant and flourishing kingdom. Now envision this kingdom divided into separate spheres of yourself. In the middle might be your church sphere and in the corner, your work sphere and so on. Your kingdom is divided up; every facet of your life in its place. It’s a reflection of you.
Ever been in a situation and place where you felt totally shredded? Where each of your carefully crafted plans and dreams lie about you in piles of rubble? The scene around you has the feel of a warzone; the dust from the rubble drifts up in thin tendrils to an azure blue heaven. From deep within you, a wail rises up. A primal desire to give vent to how you truly feel. But like a soldier in a war zone, you don’t. You feel like you can’t afford to. So you set your face like a mask and pick through the rubble, looking for something familiar and wondering if things will ever be the same. It’s eerily quiet. Unlike other disaster scenes, no sirens wail. No emergency responders are swarming over and through the piles of debris and rubble in search of survivors. ‘Cuz there is but one survivor, you.
In your private kingdom, other places still exist where all is green and vibrant. The total devastation of this small area is offset by these other healthy areas but your mind is on this one, the one that needs help. The one that was flourishing, seemed healthy, and that now lies in shambles. Sitting down on piece of rubble, you prop your head in your hands and think. Thoughts flit through your mind. Questions tumble freely but their answers aren’t forthcoming. In this maelstrom, you feel yourself losing control of beliefs that once felt solid and secure. You wonder, Where is God?
His answer surprises you. Right here.
Right here? Right here in this devastation and amid this rubble?
Yes. In fact, I caused it. It is then the hot tears flow. They had threatened but you never gave release to them. Now they splash freely and in their salty wake comes catharsis, a release from the tension and the question Why, God, why?
From these cathartic tears, a peace begins to well up. A peace that can only be explained as divine. As the days go by and the dust from the rubble settles, the continuing presence of peace comforts the pain of destruction. The phrase, “peace which passes understanding,” becomes more than a collection of words expressing a pat ideal. It indwells and becomes part of your existence.
Your sphere or zone of rubble maybe a different one than mine. It could be your church situation, your work, your family, or something personally. It matters not which of these it is but we have all been there. We know what Ground Zero feels like. That overriding feeling of devastation and the accompanying question of how to rebuild, how to survive when every day feels like a drag.
It has been such a week for me. A week of devastation and shock. Wednesday and Thursday were some of the hardest, most loneliest, and introspective days of my life. Under any other circumstances, my behavior on those days would be anti-social. But in the face of this, it’s called recovery. Even now, I’m not sure I’m whole. There are still traces of destruction. Rubble still abounds. But I have a friend. Though He caused it, He promises to help me re-build. He promises to be there and already He has given comfort. Though the pain is raw and it’s all I can do to stay composed, He has given His peace. I truly can not explain it but its undercurrent is what has stabilized my past week. And for this, I am grateful. .