Once, during an evening of worship and prayer with my church life group, Emily walked up to me and told me she’d been praying for me. Emily was one of our life group leaders, a fellow nurse, and someone who understood the love of Jesus in a way I didn't get, but wanted to.
“As I was praying for you, I got the image of a ski lift,” she said. I listened to Emily’s words that night, her red hair pulled back and her voice kind, inviting. She continued to explain how when we are on the slopes, everything seems big, and we can only see what’s right in front of us. On the ski lift, however, you can see the whole view. I nodded; I loved skiing and had been several times over the years.
“I think this bigger perspective,” Emily continued, “is how God sees your life. He can see so much more that we can't see.” I thanked her for sharing with me, and I stored away these words in my heart. Over the months, I’ve taken them out and found comfort in them.
Tonight is one of those nights. I play the evening again in my mind, the worship as we stood in a circle in Emily and Tyler’s home, a modest apartment which seemed to supernaturally expand each week to fit the growing number of people attending life group. The guitars and the worship songs. I take Emily’s words and turn them over in my mind, like removing a treasure from a security deposit box and turning it over and over again in my hands.
Right now, this image is a treasure to me. For the past few weeks, I’ve mostly felt like I was in the middle of a blizzard on the slopes, and snow flurries clouded my vision even more than usual. Reentry, culture shock, moving, and a slip back into depression have been the snowflakes, cold and wet, to hit my face and sting my cheeks and blur my vision. This week in particular has been grueling, with significant time spent in counseling and even more time on the couch trying to make sense of life and crying out to God for breakthrough.
Graciously, and faithfully, Jesus hears and answers my prayers. Not my prayers to speed up the reentry process or to take away the bog of depression, but the prayer for help right now, right here in the blizzard. He welcomes me into His arms, sheltering me for a moment, for a night, from the snow, and He reminds me how much He loves me. He reminds me how much bigger the slope is than this difficult stretch, and He gives me the gift of faith tonight to believe He does see a much bigger perspective, and He has my good and His glory in mind. He views my life from the ski lift, and He whispers there will be a time when I enjoy the thrill of skiing again.
And I start to get the love of Jesus just a little bit more.