'The many contradictions in our lives - such as being home while feeling homeless, being busy while feeling bored, being popular while feeling lonely, being believers while feeling many doubts - can frustrate, irritate, and even discourage us.
They make us feel that we are never fully present.
Every door that opens for us makes us see how many more doors are closed.
But there is another response.
These same contradictions can bring us into touch with a deeper longing, for the fulfillment of a desire that lives beneath all desires and that only God can satisfy.
Contradictions, thus understood, create the friction that can help us move toward God.'
~ Henri Nouwen
Don't you just love how God can flip our circumstances, our trials, our fears, our failures into something that's absolutely out of this world?
Only the Only Wise One can shake things up so that darkness fades to light, sorrow cascades into joy, apprehension morphs into a holy anticipation.
He has a sacred way of shaping what could have been a disaster into a radiant treasure.
And it's those unexpected gifts, those compelling invitations, that catch us off guard ... and then cause us to smile and nod our heads as we peer through the glass darkly and recognize, once again, His powerful Spirit drawing us closer, closer to Himself.
The thorn becomes the sweetest gift.
The burden draws us to His tender heart.
This, the unexpected gift of contradictions.
'Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows'