Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.
I had memorized it, repeated it to myself, planned on doing a devotion on this, and changed my mind at the last minute, because I couldn't figure out how it was yet to play out in my life. That "break up your unplowed ground" part kept haunting me, and I couldn't figure out what my unplowed ground was. I think I'm starting to dig.
If you've read my blog before or know me, you're probably well aware that we're approaching the 2 year anniversary of my Dad's death. It hardly seems like it's been 2 years, but then again sometimes these 2 years feel like forever. And this time of year, though joyful for most, can be difficult for some who are grieving. Don't get me wrong, I still love Christmas and I still get excited to listen to my Christmas music and drive around to look at Christmas lights and love that magical, whimsical feeling that comes in this season. (Except for the cold...which I think is absolutely anything BUT magical.) But it hasn't been the same for the past 2 years. It's harder (not impossible, just harder...) to find reasons to be thankful in the midst of loss, and it's hard to celebrate when you feel like there's someone missing out on the celebration.
As this 2 year mark approaches, we're beginning to dig up some truths in the circumstances surrounding his death, which is bound to be a difficult and long road ahead. We're finding ourselves in the beginning stages of a lawsuit that will hopefully uncover truth, answer questions, and give our minds some peace and resolution. We know that no lawsuit, no amount of money, and even no apology from doctors who may or may not have been negligent in his case will bring back my dad. But we do know that the truth can set you free, and in this particular case, the truth might just bring solace and peace and freedom in that way.
So we're digging.
And tonight, after a long day of being in Chicago, I just happened to sit down to relax and catch up on my regular blog-reading, and found a couple posts from 2 friends, completely unrelated to one another, with which my heart resonated. Christine and Chantell have had this similar struggle in the Christmas season to truly celebrate and realize what hope Christ brings, is, has been, and will always be, but they reminded me tonight of these very truths.
Christine, in the midst of decorating her house and seeking that whimsical feeling we all long for amidst the twinkling lights and that cozy feeling of Christmas, felt that something was missing. She reminded me tonight with this post that it's the Word becoming flesh that we all seem to be missing.
Chantell, while celebrating the life of her grandmother, now mourns the loss of her granny's life here on earth as well as the earthly life of her daughter Regan, who passed away earlier this year. It seems that when loss rains, it also pours. There is so much sadness sometimes, and grief can be overwhelming. I realized as I read this post of hers that our gratitude for Jesus, simply, should be just as overwhelming. HE IS HOPE. There is no other hope.
So tonight, after I read these two friends' thoughts, I realized that the unbroken ground I needed to dig through was simply to get to the heart of Jesus. My unbroken ground was dirt that had hardened, my heart that had hardened, with complacency, apathy, and lack of gratitude. It is HIM that I have not recognized. I haven't been thankful for HIM. And tonight I am getting out my shovel to break past that hardened ground and find the heart of Christ in the softer soil.
And so I will continue to dig...