There is a lot going on right now with our family (details to come later this week).
So many changes are coming over the next few months, it is more than a little mind-boggling. But we are handling it and can say for the most part, it is all good. Some parts I won’t enjoy very much, but I try to keep in mind those are only temporary.
It strikes me that along with God’s blessings come a lot of hard work. I made that comment to Sophia’s former teacher last week and she agreed. God does not just hand us something fully cooked and say “Here! Have Fun!” Generally, He asks us to put our shoulders to the plow, right next to Him and jointly work with Him to make something happen. He wants us to participate in the goodness of His Kingdom, not just sit on the sidelines waiting for our turn or share. We get to EARN it.
I am pretty darn good at holding myself together. I developed a defense/coping skill of looking no farther than today and tomorrow. I focus on what is immediately in front of me/us and when that is complete, I move on. It drives some people in my family crazy and I never used to be this way. But as the Lord has molded me in the last 5 years, He has created a desire in me to just take one step at a time. It was certainly developed out of habit during Sophia's treatment and I use it as a crutch probably a little too often. But I have an intense desire not to get ahead of myself, or God for that matter.
That skill allows me, mostly, to keep my emotions in check. I won’t say that I hide it, I just focus on something right in front of me or something funny about the situation and it keeps me from having a hissy fit. And the less hissy fits, the happier my family seems to be. So, I keep it up.
Except in front of God; He is the One Person there is no hiding from. I cannot hide how I feel from Him any more than I can hide where I am from Google and Apple. So, when I come into His Presence, like I did yesterday morning at church, all those emotions rush to the surface and out my eyeballs.
As I sat crying (doing my best not to sob and ruin everyone’s prayer time), I just keep thinking, “This is too much, Lord. You are once again asking WAAAAY to much of me. Your blessings threaten to drown me. What if something bad happens. Or worse yet, what if NOTHING bad happens and it goes well? How will I handle it?”
In that space where intense prayer seems to make time stop, the Lord answered me. He didn’t correct me, in fact, He affirmed what I was feeling. He said,
Daughter, I am asking too much of you.
You would think getting God’s agreement would make me feel better. It didn’t. But He continued to unpack His meaning. In that one sentence – I am asking too much of you - I found the comfort I needed.
Look at it again:
I AM asking too much of you.
I AM asking.
It’s a process, just a few small baby steps to get to sustenance and provision. Just a change of emphasis on the words made it clear to me that He was asking me to follow Him, but in the asking, He was already all that I needed for my journey. He also revealed to me that all He is going to give us is too much of a burden for me to carry RIGHT NOW. He is not asking me to handle it all right then. He is only asking me to carry what I can today. Then He will ask again tomorrow for what I have then. And then again the next day for another little piece.
Even while He is asking me to take one step at a time, He is there, present and ready to provide all that I need to survive and thrive in that moment. When I confront my fear and anxiety, I already have the weapons to defeat them. When I do not have the strength to go on, He will be my rest. And when I need to start moving again, He will be my power.
He is the GREAT I AM – the name He gave to Moses to prove to the elders of a captive Israel the real deal was coming to deliver them from slavery (Exodus 3:14). But more than that – He is the Great I AM who came to deliver us all from slavery (John 8:58). He has been where He is sending me, He knows what I need and He will equip me when I am ready.
So, for now, my job is to just keep stepping on the next lighted step, trusting that when I must take another step, He will light that one up too.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105, NLT)