But you are a chosen people,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God,
that you may declare the praises of Him
who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9
Life has been a whirlwind of cross country meets, orthodontic appointments, replying to Craigslist adds and home school lessons. The impending threat of cold weather on the horizon has us living in limbo between hoping that we might actually be able to get the house moved and enjoy a lake view before snow flies, or being content to settle in for another long winter at the farm. That wouldn't be so bad either as this old farmhouse is well insulated and has a wood stove to boot. Compared to a the new/old farmhouse we're looking at, with probably next to no insulation, we might appreciate being here come January.
But our hearts are already at the new place, stolen by the peace that envelops us every time we visit. Alexis reminds me that it probably has more to do with not having a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes rather than the place itself fulfilling us. Yes, my wise young lady, probably so. All we have to do at the new property is to lounge on the discarded lawn chairs and gaze at the lake view.
We've never had to wake up there to the realization that has become our life for the past two and a half years. The battle has not had to be conquered yet on that soil to call God's ways right and perfect, to call death a lie, to force truth to reign over emotions. The enemy has not prowled there, seeking to destroy with the thousand-and-one reminders of a son whom we long to be where he used to be. The woods hold no memories that cause a flood of tears, no overgrown trails that are too painful to walk. There is no dining room table to recall where salvation took place, no empty desk full of school books that were intended to be finished, no empty wall where a near-teen-age boy used to lie in his bed waiting for a kiss good night.
I allow the thoughts to twist with their torturous pain, ripping through my heart. Wallowing in them. Knowing the hurt on an intimate level. Knowing there is nowhere to escape it. It consumes as it threatens to choke out any hope.
"But you are a chosen people," Peter wrote so long ago. "A royal priesthood, belonging to God, to declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." (From 1 Peter 2:9-10)
My mind wrestles with the chosen part. Going back to the beginning of First Peter, the apostle says that we are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. A God whose ways are higher than mine, higher than the heavens are from the earth.
Chosen, then, to suffer. Chosen to endure grief. Chosen to extol the glory of God through a trial I cannot endure on my own. Chosen to be refined by the fire. Chosen to sort where my affections really lie. Chosen to have my eyes pointed heavenward. Chosen to lose all in this life for the hope of the next. Chosen to be poured out. Chosen to reveal absolute weakness for Christ's incomparable strength to shine through. Chosen to know a taste of God's agony, to know what it is to give up a son. Chosen by a God who is faithful and true.
Chosen, so that above all, I would be granted the power to be able to declare the praises of Him who called me out of darkness into His wonderful light.