Massimo Stanzione, “Pieta”, (1621-25)
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
—1 Corinthians 13:12
Some days all we can do is count raindrops. There seems to be little else on the horizon.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7)
On days such as these, a friend, a family member, a neighbor—perhaps even a stranger—may ask us if anything is wrong.
The answer is short and straightforward: “No, nothing at all.”
Yet, it is precisely that.
“Nothing” is precisely the problem:
The abyss of faith.
It’s hard to journey in darkness.
It’s hard to swim in a bottomless sea without attempting every once in a while to touch bottom.
It’s also hard not to wonder if there’s something dangerous swimming just below.
But we must resist temptation, no matter its shape or size.
We must keep our eyes on the Island of Hope, with its very distinct Tree of Life, firmly planted, and reaching far above the horizon.
Instead of looking backwards or beneath, we must look to Christ lifted high up upon the Cross.
We too must ascend. We too must rise above knowledge, “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead…” (Phil. 3:13)
And we must never despair. Never.
And why would we? God’s drops of love are everywhere.
Start to count them. Start to count this very day. Count the drops dripping from Christ’s open wounds. His crucified presence abounds; there are so many instances of Christ being put to the test—of Christ being nailed to the Cross—right in front of us, each and every day.
The Crucified Christ we personally discover within our immediate presence, literally within arm’s reach, just may be that same friend, family member, neighbor, or stranger who asked us just a little while ago if anything was wrong.
Count your blessings on the outstretched fingers of the Lord.
Order your days according to the Stations of His Cross.
For without the Passion there is no Resurrection.
That’s part and parcel of The Promise:
God became man, so that man may dwell eternally with God.
His promise is everything.
Our doubt is nothing.
And the space in between, the space between His promise and our doubt, is filled with the very real stuff we call “life”— “the nuts and bolts” of daily existence, the building blocks of the Body of Christ—the Kingdom of God.
We just have to continue to walk, in faith, one step at a time. Knowing that we never walk alone.
Christ is always with us. He shares our total existence—in all things but sin—and even that, He got to know well. For the Guiltless One took upon Himself our sins and those of the whole world.
Jesus not only hung upon the Cross, He was yanked on all the while He was up there—the weight of a fallen world ceaselessly pulling down on His spotless hands and feet.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin…” (2 Cor. 5:21)
Jesus held back not a drop. He gave it all. And we in return are offered everything:
Sons and daughters of God. Co-heirs of the Kingdom.
How can we ever repay such a gift?
That’s the point. We can’t.
It’s grace. Pure grace.
Unwarranted mercy, non-merited compassion and forgiveness, unearned love.
Grace-filled moments such as these, when we realize just how small we truly are, bring us astonishingly close to the Creator of all—wonderfully close to Him Whom nothing can be compared.
They fill us with hope, the hope of what is to come, the hope of what Christ Himself promises.
In the meantime, let us keep counting raindrops. They too shall soon cease to fall. For one day, even faith will no longer be needed, for we shall see God “face to face.”
Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
—1 John 3:2