Tension. I had never felt it quite so deeply. I was celebrating the birth of so many new things in my life, and yet, I was mourning the death of my five-year companions at the same time. I grieved over the loss of food. The food had served many purposes. It had served as a distraction to the hard things in life – a way to stuff my emotions and drown out what I was feeling. But in the process of doing this, I had naturally acquired a love for the actual binge food. In an attempt to deal with the loss of my binge food, I resorted to coffee. And not the real deal coffee. But rather flavored coffee. I remember glancing at the indivudal packets of flavored coffee and suddenly thinking that maybe I could still have a tiny sensation of having once again my binge foods. Brown Sugar Crumble Donut, Mocha Nut Fudge, Golden French Toast, Gingerbread. I would sip on these laden with fat free milk and low calorie sweetner and find comfort. I drank so much coffee that I would only buy decaf and even spent hours researching any potential harmful affects of too much decaf (to say nothing of the low calorie sweetner;0). So then I would try to alternate with drinking tea, again, finding all the flavors that spoke to my grieving palate. Guilt and embarrassment encompassed me over my new “addiction.”
But as I look back and reflect, I see His faithfulness. And though in those early days I may have been tempted to look over my shoulder and see “Guilt and Embarrassment following me all the days of my life,” it was not so. And that is why the word “Surely” never had seemed so sweet. For “surely” it was Goodness and Mercy following me all the days of my life, and I would dwell in the house of the Lord forever. But, I was not dwelling in the house of the Lord yet. Tension. We live in the now, but not yet. I think we feel this tension to varying degrees throughout our lives.
Never had I known such joy and freedom. And yet, the reality of my day to day, or rather meal to meal, still stared me in the face. It was as if someone had placed a mirror in front of me as I sat down to every meal. It was extremely uncomfortable, awkward, and unwanted. How could my heart sing the songs of His mercy and grace, and yet be so filled with anxiousness around mealtime?
A few days ago as we drove in the van listening to the Classical station, specifically, Vivaldi’s Concerto for two cellos in G minor, I was struck at how much my soul loves tension – the unresolved chord. I am haunted by its’ beauty every time, as I feel my whole being pulled in a direction unexpected. Feeling thrust forward, and yet, not arriving. My tired and weary soul becomes suddenly revived as I have new purpose. A new mission falls in my lap, a mission to find resolution. Physically my breath shortens, and my chest tightens as I get caught up in the musical tension. Literal tears often pool in my eyes as the music searches for its culmination. Oh the deep breaths and relaxation that comes with the resolution. The mission is accomplished, and yet, not quite…for I am left with a longing for more. More tension and more resolution. And this, my friends is the very ebb and flow of our lives.
Sin, flesh, and the devil. There is our tension, leaving us searching for our resolution. So rather than letting the tension consume us with anxiousness, let us allow the tension to drive us to where our hearts can find rest, regardless of our circumstances and regardless of what our eyes see, what our throat swallows, or what our mouths eat. Yes we strive to enter the kingdom. Yes we continue to make war. But our warfare is a mission to find rest, to find our deepest satisfaction and eternal joy in Jesus, who is, Himself, the resolution to our tension.
Let us not let the “not yet” take us by surprise. We will hear faint resolutions to our tension-filled lives as we find ourselves resting in Jesus. Resting from our striving to be good enough, to be worthy enough. Jesus is worthy and He alone is our good. And so we still say, “Come Lord Jesus!” as we continue to imperfectly dance through the tension of our lives, striving to find our rest in the sweetest resolution of Christ’s perfect dance. He danced through the tension perfectly, and so, we too find present hope in Him. Thank you, Jesus!!!