I’m learning how to iron. For Toby’s new job he is expected to wear a dress shirt and tie. So I’ve knocked the dust off the old ironing board and bought a new iron. [There’s no telling how long the old one has been broken.]
I’ve heard people say they like to iron. Previously I questioned their sanity. (This *is* housework, correct? Shouldn’t it be a chore?) But a few days ago the light bulb appeared over my head. Ironing is enjoyable because its the one thing we desire most–to have our wrinkled, messed up lives smoothed out to perfection.
My life has never been perfect, but it used to be a lot more like a wrinkle-free shirt. There was this innocence. I was happy and carefree in a way that I haven’t been since September 24th. Instead it feels like someone has wadded me up, thrown me across the room, stomped on me a few times for good measure and now I’m a mess.
It’s natural to want to be wrinkle-free. Since I can’t get back that innocence on my own it is desirable to reduce God to an iron. My prayers, at times, have gone something like this “God, I would give anything to have that child You gave me still in my womb. I was looking so forward to holding him or her in April. The pain is still raw and I don’t want to feel like this anymore. Take away this pain and mourning.” Just like an iron, I want Him to make everything smooth and “perfect” again.
But God hasn’t taken away the mourning and grief. He hasn’t sheltered me from tragic events and made my life on earth all sunshine and clear skies. Instead, in spite of the bad things that have happened, He’s given me something much better than protection from hurt: He’s given me the desire to seek Him.
In 1 Samuel chapter 7 we see the Israelites who have been worshiping false gods. But rather than push God away, as the Philistines did in chapters 5 and 6, the Israelites brought the ark of the covenant to their land and they mourned. They were grieved that they had given their hearts away and built their lives on the wrong things.
And their mourning led to seeking God. Samuel said to the people, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve Him only.” This is the cry and prayer of my heart. There are so many idols I had let in–I was putting so much faith in stability, safety, money, friends, my husband’s job, our house…the list goes on. I said that I had faith in God, but I didn’t live like it.
When my whole world was turned upside down by tragedy, God used that opportunity to draw me to Himself. And I’m truly being overwhelmed by this relentless, sovereign, merciful, gracious, loving God who knows me and loves me anyway. So much so that He made a way for me to spend eternity with Him. He sent His holy, perfect and only Son to save me from my wadded-up, wrinkly, sinful self. He has shown me that He truly loves me yesterday, today and tomorrow whether it be in joy or sorrow. Love so amazing, so divine demands my life, my soul, my all.