Don’t you love the comeback part in movies? There’s upbeat music and the person starts exercising and doing hobbies they always wanted to and you can tell they’re just getting better. It goes fast and you can see improvement. I love it in my life too. I think that’s what some of us are craving when we say we wish the pandemic would end and we could get back to normal. We want a comeback.

But even outside a pandemic, there are times when progress is hard to see. Like when you do what you thought would help, but it backfires. Or you just can’t rally the energy or focus to do what you think would move you forward. It can feel like you’re stuck or even losing ground.

Life is different right now, but God’s love and good gifts are the same.

Last week was like that for me, with one exception. My daughter, Cadence and I had a conversation one evening, just her and me, in the living room. She talked while I listened and asked questions. Time stood still and when I think back over the week, it stands out as a shining moment – like my greatest accomplishment and greatest treasure. I’m a little shocked something so brilliant could happen during that week. The one I’d written off. The one I thought I was doing so poorly.

It makes me want to trust more. Trust in the mystery of “wasted” weeks being upcycled in God’s hands. I want to trust that God and I are okay because my struggle is not a barometer of the love between us. Life is different right now, but God’s love and good gifts are the same. His work is not paused, even if it’s unfolding is beyond our view. We live in God’s kingdom now, and no suffering is ever wasted.

He will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
    festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
    that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

Isaiah 61:3