My 92-year-old dad’s health is rapidly declining. My dog just had surgery and we are awaiting test results to see if it’s cancer. My kids are each going through their own wrenching challenges. My husband’s job has been erratic. And on and on it goes. What’s your list look like?
This is just the obvious stuff. The next layer is even more tender. There’s the grief of losing my mom and the anticipated grief of losing my dad soon. The fear and helplessness of not being able to influence my children can take my breath away. The decision fatigue of managing so many things at the same time sometimes leaves me wanting to run away at best, or zone out and binge a show at worst.
And underneath all of this is my love for God. And the love from God.
I have to stop and pause. I have to stop and remember. He is the way maker.
More than a great song lyric, He really is the one who makes rough places smooth. His light leads through the darkness. He takes me on well-worn paths and to uncharted trails. He guides me through the fire, through the flood. He sets me high upon a rock.
He leads me to green pasture. To rest. To settle. To focus again.
Since I know that nothing is a surprise to Him,
since I know He plans ahead for me,
since I know that He is always with me,
I can turn to Him, see His face, hear His voice, and understand what He wants to show me in these very harried moments.
Today, He says that life is a gift. Don’t waste it by complaining about what is wrong but look for the good, His goodness in the moments.
Today He says that my faith in His provision is my gift to Him. Regardless of the swirl, He has already provided for me and I “get to” watch and anticipate His movement in my life.
Today He says that grace is a reality for me to pull on, to expect, to stand on. It is a divine presence in every situation. I can bank on it.
Last year, God gave me this beautiful revelation about the word grace as represented in Hebrew letters. Hebrew letters are pictures that reveal a much deeper meaning. The word “grace” is literally the letters that mean “beautiful camp.”
The Israelites were a nomadic people so they would travel and then set up tents in a circle close to each other. They would overlap the tent cords on the outside circle of the tents to form a barricade from animals and invaders. Then they would open up their tents to the inside of the circle so that they could freely visit, the children would play safely inside the tent circle. More on this later. However, God gave me the phrases:
Protection from without.
Provision from within.
That is what I can expect and hope and trust and rely on when I say I need grace. His grace.
God’s protection from without. God’s provision from within. He’s got me, and you, fully covered in grace. I truly am in good hands. And so are you.