My sister Annie is sharing a post here today! These good-for-the-soul words are so timely as we transition from the holiday season to getting back to day to day life. Annie touched on something I've always felt but had never known that the feeling could be expressed this beautifully.
Thanks for sharing, Annie. Love ya!
Hi, readers! My name is Annie, and I am Bonnie's older sister. You're definitely in good company here at Strong and Sweet, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to contribute. I live in Camp Hill, PA but travel most of the year throughout the Northeast region as a university fundraising manager. Family and writing are two of my greatest passions, and when they can come together---even better!
“Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me.”
On Christmas morning, I was reintroduced through my mom’s gift to the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and he promptly put me in the same room as this hopeful verse.
This season, alongside reflective gratitude, cookie-induced nostalgia, and resolutions to resolve, carries stinging reminders of our “scatteredness” as a people. These reminders may come in the form of driving loved ones to the airport, attempting to appropriately honor the memories of those we’ve lost, or perhaps scooping tears back into their rightful 25-year-old-heart-of-stone place after a Hallmark commercial broke your heart into a million pieces, again.
Our scatteredness proves that very few events in life comfort us by saying, “I am here to stay.” We are prompted to cherish each moment of our niece’s sweetness, because she won’t be six months old forever. Family will only pass through town, moving us to make the most of every hour together. Eventually, this signed-sealed-delivered-straight-from-Heaven-itself piece of pumpkin pie will be gone, and only a perfectly mouth-watering memory will remain.
The valleys and “somewhere in-betweens” of every season may find us yearning for another time. During the summits of our lives, we may feel our heels driving deeply into the gravel that crawls and tumbles towards the next valley. And so, we revolve in an endless cycle of fearful anticipation and wishful thinking, seamlessly transitioning in alternation. We are called to a more fruitful use of our time in this impermanence, resonating with Christ as we graciously reside in the far country.
Take comfort in the words of our only Permanence, our Constant and Unchanging Father: “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5
This promise is a source of steady hope when we are temporary residents in distant lands, feeling utterly alone and shivering as we attempt to stand firm atop mounds of enemy lies, feared failure, threatened safety, brokenness, and lonely despair. Our earthly hope is the moment of togetherness we experience when we hear a knock at the front door, news of new life, or the fragrance of the holidays. Our Heavenly Hope is anchored in Christ who prepares the place where we will no longer be scattered. He is hanging the tapestries in the golden chambers of our eternal home. There, we will be found completely restored.
As a tenant of earth, of gloomy lands and warm shelters alike, take heart. “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
As an heir of eternal glory, anticipate your ultimate calling home. “I will signal for them and gather them in. Surely I will redeem them; they will be as numerous as before.” Zechariah 10:8
*thanks, Annie, for the pictures, too!
*thanks, Annie, for the pictures, too!