April Snows & The Magnificent God of the Trivial

Yesterday I woke to this our my bedroom window. And went to bed to the same. This is the season of impatience and wonder. Week after week we wonder---are we stuck with this forever? Snow shifts to rain, then sleet, then a sunbreak turns our faces to the sky in shock and gratitude 

and for just a moment we bask, open-mouthed

                         (Mark Balsa Photography)

for twenty minutes, when the clouds turn and our mouths are filled with snow, then gale-ing winds, then hail. We learn to shut our mouths when we go outside. We get depressed.

All day and night, the ocean sucks at the foundation of our house . . .

       This is the season of unending winter, and this is a week like every week of the glorious and inglorious, all mixed up together: A Recitation Contest at my sons' school, then another at another school. Today an hour long radio interview on the hardest subject ever. Days in bed, and a doctor visit for my 12 year old son's ingrown toenail while I am hoping not to heave, still recovering from a week-long virus. 

This was the week in our Home Group when we made sandwiches for the homeless shelter. 

And the week for visits with a hurting friend. A meeting with the Arts Council for an upcoming play, and calls to my brother who is desperate for help with his son, and 

and in and among all this it's time to clean my refrigerator and scrub the burnt meat off the grill and change the sheets and feed the dog and take out the trash . . .  I don't want to do any of this. I want only to do the important things. The things that matter . . . 

 And while this week sweeps me up in its skirts of the trivial and the necessary, friends are diagnosed with cancer and husbands are leaving wives and terrorists are killing believers . . .    

           I have to learn not to repent of my trivial life while others are sick and suffering. I must go on cleaning my refrigerator and making spaghetti and bandaging my sons' toe---because this is what God wants me to do. God has not given up on any of this---not the suffering of the families who lost their fathers and husbands and sons, and not any of us as we whirl through our quotidian hours---and the weather reminds me of this. 

The weather around the world, from drought to torrent  is but the flick of his eyelash, a thought, a word spoken that holds back a storm-risen sea and lets loose a deluge or keeps the sun burning warm. But never is His eye dulled or inattentive. His daily word keeps atoms spinning around invisible matter, holds the earth in orbit, keeps the sun in its place.

        And He is the God over late-stage cancer and ingrown toenails, who gave His people laws about cooking, mildew and skin infections. He is the God who counts every hair on your head and who mourns  the fall of a sparrow no one else sees, who delights in the thighs of the behemoth, who counts the days until the doe in the thicket gives birth, watching intently as she labors. He is the God who says, "Everything under heaven belongs to me!" 

And that includes us. And every silly scrap of our lives that we think too small for this great God: that, too---the trash, spaghetti, sheets, leaky roof, sick dog, sticky refrigerator---that, too. From Him. And God desires that we are present to Him in these details just as He is present to us. With Him. 

Don't let the terrorists win. Don't let despair, cancer, the suffering of others steal the joy God has for you today even in the tiny places of your life. The battleground is not just overseas---it's right here in front of you: the basket of dirty laundry, the mold in your bathtub, the stacked dishes beside the sink, the sandwiches for the shelter, the child awaiting your attention, the report that's due tomorrow.  

Offer it all back in gratitude and joy. Refuse guilt. Know God is at work here as surely as He is work in Palestine, in the terrorist camps, in hospitals. Yes, feel small and insignificant, but know He is the Magnificent God of Tiny Things. That's us.    

"Love this day," my friend Laura says. Tomorrow as it blows and rains, I will see God in it, and I will Love the God who made it, who showers all of us daily with the tiniest tasks and the greatest salvation. 

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, 
continue to live your lives rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,
and overflowing with thankfulness."