The chaplain preached on 2 Cor 12 during orientation, the familiar passage about the thorn in the flesh and God's power in weakness. And his words were once again Spirit-empowered in their appropriateness, echoing the theme we've prayed and meditated on since the Easter season. If the cup can't pass, it must be drunk. If the thorn can't be removed, it must be embraced. Rather than running away from difficulty we are called to move into it, to pass through the deep and the dark, and to emerge to find out that God was with us the entire time, that He designed and orchestrated what feels like death to us in a way that shows His resurrecting power, and actually brings us life. It is another mystery of paradox: moving into trial moves us deeper into God.
And so we plod on into another season of loss, another tearing of the heart. We lean forward into the rough path, wishing there was a smooth detour but trusting that we must instead pass right on through the thorns. And hoping for more of God, somehow (for us and for our kids), in the pain of separation.