Monday, March 26, 2007


Last week one of my coworkers found her husband collapsed on the floor. She buried him two days ago . . .

A few days back our youngest son broke his arm trying to do a good deed. He’ll have surgery tomorrow to fix it . . .

In January, one of my sisters-in-law found a lump in her breast. She’s now facing reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy ten days ago . . .

A week and a half ago my neighbor’s daughter died . . .

Last Monday I discovered water soaking the wall and floor in my laundry room. On Tuesday, the kitchen sink backed up. On Wednesday, the plumber took our check . . .

I got a phone call today from our health care provider. The amount not covered by our insurance is obscene . . .

Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by how dramatically things can change in a single moment. A birth. A death. An accident. A bill. Bad news. We go tootling along, thinking everything’s just hunky-dory, and then something happens. Just like that.

Funny how often we see those unexpected moments as interruptions to our lives. We moan and complain and begrudge them. But our lives are made up of these moments. They remind us of the value of life, give depth to our joys, and fine tune our hearts for something beyond today.

Abundance is not nearly so satisfying without having experienced poverty. Health is largely unappreciated unless we have known sickness. Peace is not as sweet to the soul unless we have lived through turmoil. Pleasure is dulled without pain. Gladness weakened without sorrow.

We struggle and strain against the tough moments of our lives, and yet they are the very instances that refine us. I pray that God will empower me to receive the moments he’s ordained for me in faith and with thanksgiving. One of my favorite songs is Blessed Be Your Name, a beautiful reminder that in plenty or in want, God is to be praised. In sunshine or in darkness, I can still choose to trust Him.

When we remember to trust Him, then these moments will not win, for they will have been swallowed up in Christ’s victory. They will not defeat, but instead make us stronger. They will not crush us, but be held lightly by us—a vapor, a mist, a fleeting thing in the span of eternity.

With peace in our hearts, faith in our souls, and a light in our eyes we can face these moments. We can walk gracefully and bravely and purposefully through them. And we can treasure every easy moment with the kind of gratitude and joy that gives God the greatest glory.


Michelle Mitchell said...

My friend,
I so completely understand your post. There have been months, even years, when I felt overwhelmed by those life-changing and uninvited moments. I truly believed that they were sneaky, despicable little things with no purpose other than to make my life miserable.

One thing I never wanted to hear was that God was allowing me to be tested, or that this was to build my faith. I reached the point where I was begging God to let me be weak and to protect me from the tests. Shortly put, I was tired!

Now, I see things through a different light. I strive to view my circumstances through the eyes of a loving Father, who wants nothing but good for me.

This life is short, and my problems are temporary. My true Life is Jesus Christ, and my true home is Heaven. Thank you, God!

Love you, sister.

Caron Guillo said...


I appreciate your honesty. The things we've both written about must sound trite to those who are in the midst of their "uninvited moments," and they ARE trite coming from people who've never known much trial, but having lived through some of the things we've lived through--or what our brothers and sisters live through in Zimbabwe, for instance--to really know what it's like to trust God even in the pain of the moment--cleanses all triviality out of the discussion.

Henry Nouwen wrote, "Let's trust that the beauty of our lives becomes visible where mourning and dancing touch each other."

That beauty comes from God, and it's what brings him glory.

Love you, too!

Anonymous said...

God's eloquence is found is so many places, even buried inside a blog on the world wide web.
Thanks for allowing God to reveal His purposes through your words!

Caron Guillo said...

Dear "S,"

Thank you for your gracious words. Praise God.

I am praying for His encouragement, strength, and redemption in your moments.