I am writing this from a beach in the Bahamas. It’s day four of my five day cruise and my buddy and I stumbled upon this perfect little scene. There’s wifi here, so I take a moment to check the texts and emails I’ve racked up.
It’s February and the coldest day of the year back home in Charleston. I work hard to muster up sympathy for the folks back home. But yeah okay I feel a little gloaty. I toss my phone in my bag and lay back in the sand, breathing in the fresh air and staring at the cerulean sky above me, punctuated by big puffy white clouds drifting lazily by.
The cloud above me kind of looks like a T-Rex.
Upon my noticing this, the T-Rex cloud seems to become more defined, taking on little arms with claws, its tail sprouting plated ridges and its jaws drawing back in a roar. Of course I made all this up. But it feels like the cloud is playing along there for a bit.
We humans are storytellers.
We retell our own stories to ourselves in the form of memories, and just like my brain did with that cloud, we see the pictures and meanings in the past that we didn’t see the first go around.
This is grace, the thread that stitches the torn patches together, making sense of pain and weaving it with purpose.
But we must be careful not to filter too crudely, to not forget the struggle and pain of the good times or the levity and bright spots of the bad times.
It’s good to remember this: just because it ended badly doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, holy, and god-ordained. The failed relationship or the broken dream were perhaps exactly what God wanted of you. He might just want something different of you now. God was there in the past with you.
And here in the present with you now. Today carries with it the very same divine presence that yesterday did. So take heart, friends! God is already orchestrating the answers to prayers you haven’t even prayed yet.