"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Life goes on...oh...la, la, la, la, life goes on"
I can't help but sing that song from the early nineties t.v. series when I see the words "life goes on." The phrase is most definitely trite and overused but very much true. Until Christ shatters the heavens and steps physically back into our world again, life, as we know it, will go on. Winter will turn to spring, spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter. Families will rejoice with the birth of a new child. Mothers-to-be will mesmerizingly rub their swollen bellies as they feel the first few flutters of life within them. Children will learn to ride their bikes without training wheels. Lovers will enter into a lifelong covenant with each other, for better or worse. Fabulous food and heartfelt laughter will be shared around the dinner table. Homework will be demanded and discipline enacted. All around us, life goes on.
There is great joy and comfort in these things. Familiarity. Things going the way they should. Life following the expected course. There is nothing wrong with it. It is the experience of common grace. How gracious is the Father that He would let us enjoy such life?
And, how gracious is the Father that He would let us enjoy such loss?
That might offend some. I'm sure many will not agree. It is not by my own might or strength that I can utter such a phrase, but rather, His spirit within me. I cannot pick up the scriptures without facing God's mercy through His allowance of suffering. The apostles did not escape it. We, as those in the "last days", are guaranteed it. By His grace, it fosters within us steadfastness (James 1), genuineness of faith (1 Peter 1) and power (2 Corinthians 12). It also reminds us that there must be more than this (2 Corinthians 4 & 5).
Yes, there is mercy and grace in life going on...but there is also mercy and grace in life stopping for a bit. In a woman losing her 75-year-old husband after 49 years of marriage. In a woman losing her twentysomething husband after 3 years of marriage. In a woman losing her 2-and-a-half hour-old daughter. In my loss of my two unborn babies.
This has been a gift. A bittersweet reminder of true reality: this is not our home. We were not made for this. There must be more than this.
"For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." 2 Corinthians 5:2 - 4