I’ve spend the better part of this year away from my family, away from the comforts of home, away, for all intents and purposes the things that matter. Or have I?
I find myself in a pensive mood these past few weeks reflecting on just that question. What really matters? We fill the void of that statement with a thousand different things from health to family, from riches to accomplishments. We talk about things such as legacy and honor, courage and strength, and miss the mark by miles too distant to measure.
I thought my life was built upon the Lord, His foundation was the beginning of who I was, of what I was. I felt a call to serve Him, and out of that calling I built my list, my things that matter most. Those ordered priorities. God of course, and family, and friends, and ministry, and honor, and strength, dare I say personal glory. Those things matter. And yet over the course of a few short months God has turned each of those things on its head. Were I stripped of personal glory, still I would go on. Were my courage to fail, my honor shamed; if I left no legacy, stripped of friends, were my family lost to me still I would go on. The only thing I cannot escape is that God matters, without him all that matters would cease to matter at all. It is such a simple thing to say, such a simple proposition and yet my wandering heart craves more then just God. I’ve often felt He can’t possible be enough.
Yet He is.
There have been moments out here, in this Afghanistan, this wilderness, when I feared for my very life, when I was afraid to my very core that I had no answers for hurting hearts. In those moments I wept for the loss of my father, my mentor who guided me as Paul guided Timothy. I thought I needed Him and could never survive without his guidance. Moments when the phone would not work and I desperately needed to hear the voice of my wife on the other end of the line and the phone was dead. There are times too numerous to mention when I feared as if I was undone because some “thing” some hurt to great to bare alone would bow my spirit low within me because I lacked something that I thought mattered. I prayed, I cried out to God, to make the phone work, to grant me luck of the draw, to give me some clue as to what my father’s words would be. Silence followed. How could a loving God remove from me the things I needed most, the things that mattered?
Yet as I write these words I am not undone, I am not bowed low under the despair which consumes so many. I am full to the overflow, of a peace which destroys doubt, of a joy which makes no room for despair.
What matters? God and nothing else. Scripture says to seek first the kingdom of God. I was using God to bring me what I thought I needed what I wanted, and He was silent. Or was He?
When you have nothing else to pull you though the long dark night is God enough? Is he really all that matters?
Life is simply the discovery that God is the All in All.
Because He did, I can.