I am, as of yesterday, the proud owner of the prettiest shower curtain on earth. Amy Butler, my favorite fabric designer. Bloom, my favorite of Amy's design lines. And I got it (the prettiest shower curtain on earth) for 75% off. Which meant I could also buy the matching towels. I almost kissed the check-out girl at Bed Bath and Beyond. So while I was driving home, I was thinking about a discussion we had at neighborhood Bible study last week. The issue of wants vs. needs came up, and we talked about whether God gets a kick out of giving us things we don't need, just because He's a Father who loves us, and gives good gifts to bless us.
And I was feeling like the shower curtain was proof positive, and a prime example of all the good gifts in life.
Then an hour or so later, I got a phone call from a friend looking for a counselor. She told me one of the saddest stories I have yet to hear. So there I sat in my car in the grocery store parking lot, crying and praying over the phone with my friend.
It seems like a lot of my days are like that. Happiness and heartache. Blessing and pain. So many things to be grateful for, and so many things to grieve over.
I believe God is good and that He loves us. And I have seen terrible, painful things happen to the people God loves. If I am honest AT ALL, it's really hard for me to hold those two things together. My little human pea-brain and my little sorrowing human heart just can't quite create a resolve that works.
I've thought and read and talked a lot about this, but there is still this dissonance between my head and my heart. We're living life in a "not yet" world, and I'm ready for the happy ending.
So do I really believe that God cared enough to give me a shower curtain, when there is so much pain in the world?
Yeah. I do.
Because God knows what's coming down the road. His love is true and it's real, but the pain is also true and real. I'm going to experience pain. And I believe He allows me to experience His love, in practical, concrete ways that are personal to me (like the prettiest shower curtain on earth) so that I can hang on to His love even in the experience of pain.
"May Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee."