Let me start by saying I WORE my pen out on this chapter. I read it twice, and as is the case with the entire book, I saw totally different things to love the second go-round.
Some of you read my blog and know that I have major fear issues, so this one hit home for me. I saw so much of myself in this one, and I’m having a hard time picking out the parts I want to focus on because it was all so good and rich…
I think the idea that keeps rattling around in my head long after the book is closed is the image of the bridge. Yes, certainly it is true that God has been faithful, and that plank by plank He has built many good reasons for me to forego fear altogether. And yet that isn’t where I land at the end of my day. Instead I’m off and running to tomorrow’s crises, bent out of shape over the nick in the wood I just crossed.
In fairness, they aren’t all just nicks, and Ann acknowledges this beautifully, describing the way remembering “just leaves third-degree burns.” (pg. 154).
I doubt I’m the only one who has an easier time remembering the burns than the balm.
So I jump headfirst into a tomorrow that, in my mind, anticipates the fall. I can’t help but wonder how often I see this as the result simply because I didn’t take the time and effort to thank God for the good, making that my steady bridge. I see the value in taking note of the moments where we see God, so that when we are hidden in the cleft of the rock, we will be able to look back and see His hand (pg 156).
I rob myself when I fail to do this, and more, I rob Him. What a horrifyingly beautiful sentence Ann has written on this: “Anything less than gratitude and trust is practical atheism.” (pg 148)
Umm, ouch. That has to be the most blessed dagger that could have stabbed me today. I need to remember the power of gratitude, not just in the moment, but as a way to build a firm bridge to tomorrow’s faith. Exquisite, isn’t it?
With almost all the books I read, I find a sentence or two that I love and I write them on the last page of the chapter. It helps me remember the sentiment that struck me the most, and when I reread books I use a different pen or pencil so I can have lots of them all stacked up; a record of what I stored up in my heart as I went.
I will not bore you with the elaborate system I have of marking books, because I doubt you are all that interested, but let’s just say it is, umm, elaborate. And you would probably need a legend/key to be able to translate all the markings. Anywho, this chapter got A LOT.
Here’s one of the highlights for me:
“The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by.” (pg. 156)
Seriously. What do I do with truth like that? Oh wait. I know. I underline, star, re-write, and imprint it on the fabric of my everyday life, because I know that my God whispers this truth to me…
“It is never too late to look back and see the bridge for what it was…a path to me…”
Lord, bless me with the favor that allows me to see your hand in the darkest night of yesterday and allows me to thank you for the tomorrow that waits for me, one rickety step after another…
What about you? Tell us your “take-away” sentence or two…and we will pray for the beautiful bloom that will come.