The kids were sleeping in. I heard the baby stirring, but I had a few minutes to finish loading the dishes from the night before. I had been up, reading and eating — feeding body and soul. I was continuing to “pour my heart out before Him” in the morning stillness. One by one, I was carefully placing dishes in the dishwasher while I placed packages of fear at His feet. The trip to Mexico. Being away from our normal medical care. A failed 1 hour glucose test — could the medications cause gestational diabetes? Elise’s behavior. Keeping the house clean before we leave for Mexico. Maddie’s separation anxiety. How to fit a 3 hour test in a packed week of preparation and packing…
I seemed to have collected quite a few of these “fear packages,” small and big, and they were stacking clumsily and quietly while I prayed. I was being very careful to bring each one, set it down gingerly and leave it. I knew all too well that each little package was a tiny (or not-so-tiny) bomb for my soul, and I needed to leave them with the Lord. Not nervously squeeze them, feel them, open them, or even pick them back up after I had set them down. I willingly looked at each one, brought them to Him, and firmly set them down.
I never look at them during the business of the day… mismanagement would set one off and send me down the all too familiar slope of doubt and fear. But here, with Him, I was safe. He took them, one by one, and filled me with peace. Not one was foreign to Him, not one overwhelmed him. Surely He had already borne my grief and carried my sorrow. He is so able to relate to the temptation, weakness and trial that plagues humanity… that plagues me. Boldly I came to the throne today.
This was becoming my daily ritual, one that I looked forward to… and basked in the relief of. How close He has been through this season! My heart gradually turned to thanksgiving, a spontaneous response that only recently had naturally become a part of this newly forming, quick, precious, and quiet habit.
But vaguely, I was aware of a new thought… tangy with the scent of new fear. In the sweetness of the morning, it had a jarring scent. It had been forming for some time. It came from the anxiety etched in the corners of my loved ones’ eyes, the concern in the tone of the doctors, the shock in the faces of dear friends newly made aware of our troubles. Their responses, though well meaning, had given the fear strength. It was just a vague idea, but it had planted and it was now mature. Unknown to me, Satan’s arrow slipped through the bow, sliced the morning stillness and hit the mark.
“God has given so much help in this season. But… what if something happens that I am unprepared for? What if I find a fear that I can’t let go of? Or what if this ritual is just that — a ‘ritual’ that is empty? I still have these troubles even if I think I have ‘peace.’ What if something BIG happens and suddenly it is all too much?” So reasonable. Practical concerns after all. Maybe I am being flippant to not dwell on these things thoroughly…
My morning reading came to mind and Satan’s arrow tumbled.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
– Psalm 62:5–8
I smiled, picked up the arrow, wrapped it carefully up into a piece of faith… and set it alongside the other packages. And left it. The dishes were done and I heard little feet coming down the stairs. An offended hungry cry came from the baby’s room. The day had begun.
Later, after an already long day of breakfast, school, housework, lunch, naps, and more housework, I loaded the girls into the van to go to a “trunk-or-treat” event. Something was thrilling and I couldn’t quiet remember why I was feeling so happy today. Victorious, even. And… for some reason, I hadn’t collected as many fears and worries as I normally do. I texted Joel:
Having fun? He texted back.
I paused. Then I remembered: Sorta. I just keep giving God my fears. And I kinda started to wonder… When will it be too much? And then I realized what I was wondering. 🙂 I can’t run out of God.
Like the Widow of Zarephath, I had reached into my little pot of oil and was shocked to discover the infinite.
Satan, I cannot run out of God.