"This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”
(Romans 8:15 The Message)
I had never read this verse from The Message Bible before, but when I came across it in a Bible study this week, it took my breath away.
I immediately thought of Bilbo Baggins and how he reacted to Gandalf's invitation to go on an adventure. “Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things, make you late for dinner. No, thank you!" But, the next thing you know, he's running out of his hobbit hole shouting, "I'm going on an adventure."
That’s me! Adventures are not always pleasant, and I surely do enjoy my comfy chair by the fire. And yet, at the same time, something in me craves adventure, and I enjoy asking Abba Father, "What's next, Papa?"
And that's why, even though some days I keenly miss Jeanette and feel the emptiness of her absence, yet I am forward-looking with anticipation and expectation. "What's next, Papa?"
I’ve learned one of the easiest ways to get stuck in grief is to focus on the emptiness of my daughter being gone. As real as that emptiness feels, it’s not a place I should park, settle down, and get comfortable. I must have an expectation that life is still good, and there is still a future for me. God provides that hope-filled anticipation. He calls me on to the next thing. Like Bilbo, I can’t resist running from my comfortable hobbit hole with a shout, “I’m going on an adventure!”
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)