There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
– Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
I wish we could grab a coffee, you and I, and I could openly share the journey this family has been on during the past month.
But since we can’t, I’ll need to sum it up with a neat, little bow tied beautifully around the top.
I’ve walked through fire during the past 30 days.
And I wish I could say it was just one specific thing. It’s been several things. All forces of evil things.
There was once a time, back in the day when I had never opened my Bible, that I thought the Devil wasn’t real. He was some enigma that was created to scare us all into oblivion and certainly the world couldn’t be going to hell in a handbasket because aren’t we all so inherently good?
Yes. I know. Incredibly naive.
When those who knew better tried to tell me otherwise, that an enemy force does really exist and showed me the several places in scripture it was told to be so, I looked at them like a pigeon looks at everything.
Confused. Labeling them as a little crazy. Slyly looking at my watch to see how fast I could exit the conversation. Secretly wanting to launch into my imitation of the Church Lady from the old Saturday Night Live days and exclaim “Oh, I don’t know…Could it be…SATAN?”
It was like trying to teach nuclear physics to a first grader. An immature first grader.
But now? Oh, I believe it. I know it to be true. And I’ve experienced his wrath.
I’ve been walking through hell wearing gasoline panties.
Luckily, He proved again that He’s bigger than that other one.
Suffice it to say not one word has been written on the book proposal I was SUPPOSED to be working on during this past month of being out of the blogging world.
Once again, He had other plans for me.
It’s quite amazing how much work can be done in the refiner’s fire in just a matter of days. A week. A month.
My family is in a season of dying but being born. Of uprooting and planting. Of killing and healing. Of tearing down and building of weeping and laughing of mourning and dancing.
We are gathering stones.
I breathe in a peace that surpasses all understanding as I reveal this one thing: I am currently only embracing the four people who live with me. This doesn’t mean that I’m not loving my neighbor but it does mean I’m saying “no” a whole lot more and pulling out of almost everything extra.
I’m refraining from embracing anything else.
I’m keeping and throwing away, tearing and mending, shutting up and speaking, loving and hating the things He hates.
War is over.
We are on the road to peace.
So we straddle all of these seasons at once because I’m a slow learner and here at the Snapp house, we like to jump head-first into the deep end.
I know what He has is good.
But sometimes to get to the good we have to go through stuff that breaks our heart.
A heart that crumbles away in our chest until He can reach in and replace it with one that is purer, one with less black on the bottom, one that more closely resembles His son.
And like an open heart patient, my chest hurts. I have a few scars. There’s shortness of breath.
But what’s been replaced is a much-better version of the dying heart that was there first.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. – Romans 8:18