When something difficult happens, or you lose something important, God doesn’t expect you to ignore the disappointment and push the pain down with a religious smile painted on your face. For whatever may be going on, it’s a process that’s deeper and more complex than just taking clinical steps from denial to acceptance. It’s a journey with him. For me, that journey begins with choosing to see what I do have, and not letting myself get sucked into the black hole of focusing on what I don’t. Always, always, the first thing I see is Jesus. Just knowing he’s there keeps me from spiraling into the dark.
That may come across pretty hokey. That’s okay. It’s real for me. He’s real. Even when I was a kid, when something difficult happened, I’d climb my favorite tree to a comfortable seat near the top that couldn’t be seen from below. I could breathe there. And I could hear him in my heart. We’d have long talks, until I was able to see more than just the hills around us.
That tree was cut down years ago, but it’s still with me. I’m writing this from there. I’m sitting in it with Jesus, thanking him for all the good things in my life, and making room for more as we process the present circumstances together. If you don’t have a tree, you’re welcome to break off a branch from mine and grow one of your own.