I wish I had written about His faithfulness when I felt helpless to do anything but watch Lucy squirm and writhe and groan in pain as cancer tore apart her earthly frame.
I wish I had written about His faithfulness when Phoebe and I squeezed three precious ones, deeply deeply loved by their ailing mother, into a car to drive to their new home; a home of education, clothes, clean water, three meals a day, JOY, and love, but one apart from the mother and father who gave them life.
I wish I had written about His faithfulness when positive HIV test results were read and cancer diagnoses were confirmed and stories of abandonment, abuse, neglect, and rape were retold and news of friends dying preventable deaths was digested.
I wish I had written about His faithfulness when sharing a meal and conversation with street boys too high to lift their water glasses with steady hands; conversations that jumped from how much money they’d come upon that day to their favorite color to the fact that they had no recollection of their mother’s face.
I wish I had written about His faithfulness when I wrestled and fought and diverted my gaze and plugged my ears and called His bluff because I loved these people more than I loved Him and if He was the one allowing all of this pain, I would choose them over Him. I would fight for them if He wouldn’t.
His faithfulness wells in my heart and is fresh on my lips when Carol skips and Lucy sings and Pinky giggles and morphine is acquired and babies are discharged and surgeries are successful and bellies are full…
I strain my eyes to see His faithfulness in the moments He seems far and the ones I love are hurting the most… I SO often miss it, but the promise remains that it is there. Oh, it is there! I raise my voice and demand that He listen to my prayers, even though this is one of the first truths He etched into my heart, knowing how pivotal it would be for me—stubborn, doubting Annie Coppedge, to know that my words and heart are not sailing off into the wind like a balloon let loose in the sky.
Sights of His faithfulness through the difficult greet me as soon as the fog lifts but these pleasantly overwhelming glimpses always seem to knock me onto my knees. Repentance. Forgive me for my stubborn, tight lips that refused to utter praise when my eyes did not see You worthy of it. Forgive me for my shallow mind that chooses acceptance of how You handle Your people over trust that You are GOD, You love your people and You never stop working for our good.
I wish I had written to you about His faithfulness in all of the things that seemed so far from pretty blog posts. I wish I had thanked Him all the more during the times Faithful and God seemed antonymous. I wish I had sung even louder when the words were more difficult to find.
A prayer of David.
1 Hear me, LORD, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.
5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, LORD;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.
14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.
I am headed back to Kenya after 8 months of fog. I look back through it and see that my now loud shouts of His faithfulness largely contrast my utterances in the months preceding. I dance around with my plane ticket in hand and cannot say enough good things about this God who loves me (as evidence by this newly acquired ticket) and then I catch a view of myself just last month, wallowing in self-pity and not so convinced that He is as good as I once believed Him to be.
I’m not sure what this is—why I needed to write this, but I did. I am repenting and I am sharing my sin and asking your forgiveness for only giving you pretty pictures, yes, but I want more than that. I want to get better at this. I want to fall on my face quicker and notice my sin sooner and unclench my fists earlier and I think He is teaching me that none of that will happen unless I keep my eyes fixed on Him. FIXED. HE is where my eyes need to be stayed, nowhere else--not on orphans or widows or the poor or the oppressed... on Jesus.
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." ~ Hebrews 12:2