Remember that teacher you had when you were a kid who wore outdated glasses that made you really angry, and whenever you would ask to go to the bathroom by saying "Can I go to the bathroom" she'd say "I don't know, can you?"
Coincidentally for me, that was the same teacher whom I told casually in conversation one day about all the mean nicknames my Dad and me had made up for the people we saw at mass every Sunday, and then she brought it up to my Dad during Parent/Teacher conferences, and, you know. I had to go to bed before The Wonder Years for a week.
Anyhow, there is such a big difference between "Is permitted" and "Is able." I personally don't see the problem in forgiving the uncomfortably fidgeting 12-year-old that colloquialism but perhaps that's a post for another day. However, there's a more pressing difference between "Is able" and "will," and that's what I decided I wanted to write about as I was thoughtfully driving home from church Sunday night.
When I lost my job unexpectedly in November a lot of people reminded me that God was strong and big enough to "get us through it." I appreciated the sentiment, but a couple of things didn't strike me quite right with that.
First, what does it look like to "get through" something like that? I believe that God will give us whatever we need - every hair on our head is accounted for (Matthew 10:30). But the terrifying part is discovering just how little we actually need. Parents lose children. Houses burn down. Life savings are blasted through. iPods get the sad-mac face. Apparently we didn't need any of that. But I certainly want it. And it feels like I need it. There was no way I was looking forward to finding out that all Aaron and I really needed to get by was a box of Raisin Bran and NBA 2K11.
The other issue I took with that advice is that I have no problem believing that God can do anything. He created whatever scientific or physical laws we think are absolute; He can most certainly break them if He needs to. I just have no idea what He will do.
I'm struggling to figure out how to exist under this truth lately, and I was inspired to be honest with you about it after reading this. It's hard to stay awake during weird, scary times like being jobless when you realize you're not guaranteed any relief. It's not that I thought before that I was. It's just that I am realizing I am still supposed to love God with all my heart and be amazed at his grace for me when He doesn't promise He'll at least give me the tools to function.
But as long as I'm living and as long as Jesus died, I still have more than I deserve. I just wish I had a little leg to stand on when I feel like whining. In general.
By the way - I got an incredible new job right before Christmas. I even have my own office, and there's a vending machine in the lunch room with an endless supply of Coke 0 for $.60. Jackpot.